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Film Room: Can Christian Westerman emerge as starting right guard?

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Christian Westerman’s skill as a zone run blocker and in pass protection gives him a lot of upside as a potential 2018 starter.

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Christian Westerman has not seen the field much to start his NFL career, but he has shown flashes that indicate he could be an excellent option for the team at right guard. The clips below show what he brings to the table as well as some things he may need to work on.

In the first clip Westerman and Clint Boling are working a double team on the backside of zone. Westerman engages first and pushes the Detroit three-technique back off the ball. He keeps his eyes up so he can see the linebacker at the second level. Feeling Boling take over the block and seeing the linebacker staring to fill, Westerman comes off and picks up the linebacker.

In the next clip, Westerman is on the front side of the zone play. Here he is working a double team with center Russell Bodine from the three-technique up to the linebacker. Westerman comes off the ball and engages with the three-technique getting movement.

Because the the defensive player is responsible for the B-gap and not crossing Westerman’s face, Bodine gives him a push, but immediately works his way up to the linebacker.

Westerman does an excellent job here. The only concern is that he allows the defender to disengage at the end. This is something that happens too often with Westerman and he will need to address.

Westerman showed an excellent skill for pass protection. Here the three-technique is rushing the B-gap and uses clears Westerman’s hands in an attempt to get by him. Westerman quickly replaces his hand and maintains leverage, not allowing the defender to get by him. He holds his ground and does not allow penetration.

Here Westerman sets to the B-gap but quickly shuffles his feet back to the inside as the defender crosses his face. As Bodine picks up the block, he looks back to the outside and does an picks up the blitzer.

Westerman’s initial assignment was the three-technique, but he shows great awareness realizing that the stunt had caused him to be picked up by another lineman,

Westerman has the strength and ability to develop into a very good guard for the Bengals. Now is the time for Westerman to step up and take over the right guard position. New offensive line coach Frank Pollack will need to work with him on finishing his blocks, but he excels as a run blocker in zone schemes and is a reliable pass protector which makes him a great fit for the Bengals in 2018.