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Zac Taylor attends Oklahoma Pro Day

The Bengals’ head coach is in the large group of NFL personnel present at Oklahoma’s pro day, but he’s probably not there for Kyler Murray.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Even though free agency officially begins today, the Bengals’ head coach made his way down to Norman, Oklahoma to check out some future prospects.

Zac Taylor is reportedly at Oklahoma’s pro day, though not for the same reason other coaches went.

Even though Kyler Murray is projected to be one of the first picks in the NFL Draft, the Bengals probably have next to no interest in the quarterback, even in the unlikely scenario that he is still on the board at 11th overall.

Taylor has said that he wants to stick with Andy Dalton for now. If he is just doing his due diligence, then it would not hurt to at least consider other options. Since Murray didn’t work out during the combine, his pro day is the only chance NFL teams have had to evaluate him between the Orange Bowl and the NFL Draft.

Taylor might be more interested in Cody Ford, a redshirt junior offensive lineman. Even though the Bengals have brought back every single OL that suited up in 2018, Ford is still an interesting prospect, especially if LSU LB Devin White is taken ahead of the Bengals.

Ford is an athletic and physical prospect with experience at right tackle and right guard. He has a high ceiling, but is also a bit of a developmental prospect. The Bengals might want him to be the next Cedric Ogbuehi and have him sit behind Alex Redmond or Bobby Hart for a year before playing.

At this point, since the Bengals just signed Hart to a three-year deal that could max out at $21 million, it’s hard to see anyone playing at right tackle until at the very earliest 2021, barring injury. Cordy Glenn’s contract won’t expire until 2020, so Ford probably wouldn’t start at tackle for two years at the least. The Bengals currently have only two tackles under contract, so if they elect not to re-sign restricted free agent Jake Fisher, then they may want Ford as a backup.

If Ford moves inside, there is more potential for playing time in the near future. All four of the guards the Bengals have under contract will be unrestricted free agents after 2019, so Ford could go from backup to starter over the offseason.

Of course, this may all be off-base, since the only fact we know is that Taylor is on Oklahoma’s campus. But with two projected first rounders performing at the pro day, Taylor is at the very least doing his homework.