Just after the end of the 2018 NFL season, Pro Football Focus ranked the Cincinnati Bengals defensive line 25th in the NFL. At that point and for months leading up to it, everyone, management included, knew it needed improvement.
While more pressing concerns caused the defensive line shortcomings to take a backseat, they certainly were far from forgotten.
That’s why the team then went out and drafted Renell Wren in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, hoping to secure some help for stud lineman Geno Atkins.
Wren wants to be that guy to make a difference on a depleted line.
As a rookie, Wren knows that things won’t come easy. He’s prepared to take responsibility of his play and to make sure his game speaks for itself. On top of that, he’s been taking advice from teammates Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins.
Per Bengals.com writer Dan Hoard, Wren has been told he has the physicality to be in the league for a decade plus, but Atkins and Dunlap advised that it’s not the tools but more so how you use them.
“I talked to Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and the older veterans and they said, ‘You have the physical tools. It’s the little stuff that’s going to keep you on the field,” Wren said.
It doesn’t stop there though. He knows that advice must translate to on-field production. As a rookie, no spot is guaranteed, and Wren is ready to make his mark on the Bengals.
“I still have a lot to prove,” he said. “I love my teammates already. Coach Eason is hard on me but I know that he loves me and everything. Now it’s about making them proud,”
Whether he starts or not, you can rest assured that the 6-foot-5, 318 pound tackle will be ready for action come Week 1.