Fans of most teams have to wait until the night of the draft to find out what their team will do in the first round. That really hasn't been the case for the Bengals.
Cincinnati's color commentator Dave Lapham has been on the money for several seasons now with who the Bengals will draft. In fact, the only times he has been wrong has been when the player he predicted was taken before the Bengals had a shot to take him.
Well, Lapham’s prediction is finally here. He gave his insight on the Bengals Booth podcast with Dan Hoard. Lapham has the Bengals selecting offensive tackle Andre Dillard out of Washington State.
“Dillard to me is a left tackle. He is the prototype left tackle. The only thing is when I’m watching him on tape I’m looking at his body type in the linear, I’ve seen this movie before. It looks a little like Cedric Ogbuehi a little bit physically. He’s got the long arms, he is fluid, he is smooth and he is athletic, and I’m like “ew I don’t like that,” but he seems to have a little bit more saltiness to him as I’m watching. He is going to turn 24 in October. He’s not a kid, so I think that will help him.
“You’re thinking ‘well jeez, if he is only going to play till he is 32. how many years we got of him?’
“I would take him. I would take the guy. I think his experience level is a plus. Washington State threw it 65 times a game, and he was a machine. He bends at the knees. He has very good hand placement. He has a very good punch. He can redirect with people. He is the best pass blocker, in my mind, in the draft.”
The pick makes absolute sense. The Bengals offensive tackles are far from set for the future. Bobby Hart got a three-year contract, but it is hard to see him as the starter for the foreseeable future.
What isn't being talked about as much is Cordy Glenn's status at left tackle. He only has two years left on his contract, and he will be 31 years old by the time this season starts.
Dillard has the potential to become a left tackle. He shows all the traits of a great pass blocking tackle in the NFL, but he has some real work to do in the run game. Washington State didn't give him many opportunities to run block.
Dillard may not come in and beat out Hart for right tackle right away, but he has the potential to become the Bengals' future starting left tackle. We talked about Dillard in our 11 for 11 draft series.
It is also worth noting that he views Alabama’s Jonah Williams on pretty equal level as Dillard. Lapham said if Williams is still available the Bengals should “sprint, sprint to get him.”
Other takeaways from Lapham
- Lapham does mention he'd like to see the Bengals trade back and gain an extra third round pick. Dillard could absolutely fall into the teens, and both Washington and Miami could be looking to trade up for a quarterback.
- His thoughts on Devin White and Devin Bush are pretty interesting. He has some reserves about both guys being undersized. It is hard to imagine a team not attacking guys like that in the run game, but Lapham does think Bush is a more sure tackler and thinks if he is available at their pick that he will be in the conversation for the first round pick.
- Thinks the Bengals have a great advantage with having double digit coaches on this staff who coached in college last season.
- Williams has the potential to play right or left tackle or even at guard in the NFL.