The Bengals drafted their center of the future last night in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s Ohio State’s Billy Price, who should offer the Bengals the best center they’ve had in the last decade.
And while not all Bengals fans are happy, SB Nation draft analyst Dan Kadar really likes this pick for the Bengals. Kadar graded every first round pick and gave the Bengals a B+ for selecting Price in Round 1.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State
Although the Bengals wanted to take Ragnow, Price is the better player. He’s a mean and nasty interior blocker who moves defensive linemen around with ease. The issue is whether or not he’ll be healthy at the start of training camp after tearing his pectoral at the NFL Scouting Combine. If he’s not healthy, it’s a gamble and you hope he doesn’t miss some regular season time.
Kadar believes Price was the best center in the draft and we know new Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack loves “nasty” linemen, which is how Price is explained here.
The biggest concern with Price is the injury he suffered at the NFL Scouting Combine, a partially teared pectoral, but the belief is he’ll be fully healthy and ready to hit the field by June.
Here’s an excerpt from Price’s NFL.com draft profile:
Plays like a Wildling at times with tremendous explosiveness, strength and, almost excessive initial charge. Price’s power and leverage give him a huge advantage over most centers in this draft. He should be able to come into the league and deal with NFL power right away. However, his impatience as a blocker and tendency to charge in head-first will be used against him by savvy NFL opponents if he doesn’t get it cleaned up. Price should be a good, early starter.
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