When the Bengals selected Billy Price and Sam Hubbard from the Ohio State University with their first and third round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, it may have seemed kind of odd. But in reality, it’s actually quite common for the Bengals to double dip and select teammates from the same college in the same draft. In fact, the Bengals have done it 11 times since the turn of the century.
Heading into the 2018 season, Price looks like a near lock to be the Bengals starting center, assuming he fully recovers from a pectoral injury he suffered during the NFL combine. Price won the 2018 Rimington Trophy as college football’s top center, and hopefully will be able to provide the Bengals with something they have lacked for many year - a quality, long-term solution at center. Hubbard is likely slated for a rotational backup role behind Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, Jordan Willis, and Carl Lawson as an edge defender. But he could push for starting duties beyond 2018, depending on what happens with the expiring contracts of both Dunlap and Johnson.
So how do Price and Hubbard compare with the other pairs of teammates drafted by the Bengals since the turn of the century?
2017: Joe Mixon (2nd round) and Jordan Evans (6th round), Oklahoma
It’s probably a bit too early to prognosticate the future careers of the Bengals’ 2017 draftees from the University of Oklahoma, but 2017 gave some glimmers of hope. Evans unexpectedly emerged with five starts and 33 tackles in his rookie season. Mixon flashed a playmaker, using his natural running ability to easily turn four yard losses into one yard gains. But with such an awful season for the Bengals offensive line, it’s difficult to evaluate Mixon on his numbers, with a pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry average, and only 626 rushing yards, which was good enough to lead the Bengals’ lacking run game.
2014: Jeremy Hill (2nd round) and James Wright (7th round), LSU
By the end of his rookie season, Jeremy Hill looked like a future stud at running back, leading the NFL in rushing yards over the second half of the 2014 season. In his final nine games of that year, and throwing in a pair of games against the Browns in 2016, Hill rushed for 1,208 yards and 8 touchdowns with a very impressive 5.9 average over those 11 games. In the other 43 games of his NFL career, he was a very subpar runner, totaling 1,665 yards on a 3.3 average. Outside of those 11 great games, he is mostly remembered by Bengals fans for the 75 percent of games where he struggled, and for a lost fumble in the January 2016 Wild Card playoff game against the Steelers, which led to a string of events, ultimately costing the Bengals the playoff victory.
Wright was drafted as much to be a special teams player as to be a wide receiver. In 2014 and 2016 he appeared in 24 games and totalled just under 200 receiving yards. He spent 2015 on IR with the Bengals, and spent 2017 on IR with the Browns. He signed with the Colts following the 2017 season.
2011: A.J. Green (1st round) and Clint Boling (4th round), Georgia
Green has been nothing short of excellent since being selected by the Bengals. He has accumulated 556 receptions, over 8,200 yards, and 57 touchdowns over seven seasons. He’s also been selected to seven Pro Bowls in those seven seasons.
Boling has become a solid addition to the Bengals offensive line, starting at left guard over the past six years. He even helped out at left tackle late in 2018 with the Bengals desperate to find anybody who could be less horrible than Cedric Ogbuehi at that spot.
2010: Jordan Shipley (3rd round) and Roddrick Muckelroy (4th round), Texas
Shipley had quite a productive rookie season for the Bengals hauling in 52 receptions and 600 yards. But his career was quickly derailed by an injury early in his second season. He only played in seven games after the injury. Muckelroy played in 21 games in 2010 and 2012, spending 2011 on IR. He collected a handful of tackles for the Bengals and Redskins in those two seasons, starting two games for the Redskins.
2007: Dan Santucci (7th round) and Chinedum Ndukwe (7th round), Notre Dame
In the 2007 NFL Draft, it was fourth round pick Marvin Jones who was supposed to emerge from the draft as the Bengals’ future starting safety. Instead, it was seventh round pick Ndukwe who grabbed that role. Williams only lasted two years in Cincinnati, while Ndukwe played twice as many years for the Bengals, collecting 31 starts, 249 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 6 interceptions for them. Santucci was a backup center for the Bengals who appeared in a pair of games in 2007.
2006: Andrew Whitworth (2nd round) and Bennie Brazell (7th round), LSU
If you rate this pair of drafted teammates as one of the best drafted by the Bengals, it’s likely 100 percent based on Whitworth’s contribution and zero percent based on what Brazell brings to the pairing. Whitworth is entering his 13th season as a starting NFL offensive lineman.
Brazell was a track star at LSU whom the Bengals took a late round flier on to see if he could be converted into an NFL wide receiver to make use of his Olympic speed. The unlikely experiment failed, and Brazell did not make the Bengals’ roster.
2005: David Pollack (1st round) and Odell Thurman (2nd round), Georgia
Pollack and Thurman are the only pair of teammates who were selected with the first two picks in this list. The two of them represent a huge pile of “what if” for the Bengals defense. Instead of long, productive careers changing the fortunes of the Bengals defense in the 2000’s, both of them only played 16 games in the NFL.
After a rookie season with 4.5 sacks and 28 tackles, Pollack injured his neck in Week 2 of the 2006 season and his NFL career was over. Thurman was a dynamic playmaker during the 2005 season recording 98 tackles, five interceptions, five forced fumbles and 1.5 sacks. But struggles with substance abuse resulted in multiple suspensions and a career that was limited to that 2005 season.
2005: Eric Ghiaciuc (4th round) and Adam Kieft (5th round), Central Michigan
Before there was Russell Bodine, there was Eric Ghiaciuc, a fellow fourth round pick at the center position who spent several years as the Bengals’ starter, regularly abused by opposing defensive linemen. And that’s the good part of this 2005 pair of CMU draftees. Kieft never played in an NFL game.
2001: Chad Johnson (2nd round) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (7th round), Oregon State
Johnson and Houshmandzadeh make a strong case as the most prolific pair of drafted teammates on this list. Johnson was an elite receiver throughout his decade long career, collecting a pair of first team All Pro selections to go with his 766 career receptions, and more than 11,000 career receiving yards. Houshmandzadeh also crafted a long career for himself in the NFL, earning a Pro Bowl trip to go along with his 627 career receptions, and more than 7,000 yards.
2000: Peter Warrick (1st round) and Ron Dugans (3rd round), Florida State
Usually a receiver drafted in the first round is really fast, really big, or has great hands. And sometimes they have all three. But it’s not common to see a team draft a wide receiver in the first round who does not fulfill any of these attributes. That’s exactly what the Bengals did in the 2000 draft. Warrick was a decent second or third receiver for the Bengals for the five years he played for them, but he never materialized into a player worth a top five pick in the NFL Draft.
Dougans played three years in the NFL, and combined with Warrick for just less than 3,800 career receiving yards. For what it’s worth, that combined total would be good enough for the seventh most receiving yards for a single receiver from the 2000 draft. And if you are curious as to how well the Bengals thought of their picks of Warrick and Dougans, look no further than the 2001 NFL draft when they drafted two more wide receivers.
Which pair of college teammates drafted by the Bengals since 2000 is the best?
This poll is closed
2018: Billy Price (1st round) and Sam Hubbard (3rd round)
2017: Joe Mixon (2nd round) and Jordan Evans (6th round) from Oklahoma
2014: Jeremy Hill (2nd round) and James Wright (7th round) from LSU
2011: A.J. Green (1st round) and Clint Boling (4th round) from Georgia
2010: Jordan Shipley (3rd round) and Roddrick Muckelroy (4th round) from Texas
2007: Dan Santucci (7th round) and Chinedum Ndukwe (7th round) from Notre Dame
2006: Andrew Whitworth (2nd round) and Bennie Brazell (7th round) from LSU
2005: David Pollack (1st round) and Odell Thurman (2nd round) from Georgia
2005: Eric Ghiaciuc (4th round) and Adam Kieft (5th round) from Central Michigan
2001: Chad Johnson (2nd round) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (7th round) from Oregon State
2000: Peter Warrick (1st round) and Ron Dugans (3rd round) from Florida State