The Bengals’ offensive line was one project that Zac Taylor had to give his full attention toward fixing when he took the job in the offseason. So far, it hasn’t worked out the way he had hoped.
To be fair, his two draft picks on the line have been injured, so its still a work in progress.
If you take into account that the original starting lineup was supposed to feature Jonah Williams at left tackle and Cordy Glenn at left guard, the Bengals have had to play with their third player at each position at one time or another this year. With Andre Smith and John Jerry at tackle, and Michael Jordan and Billy Price at guard, the Bengals’ line has endured its fair share of injuries.
But the only things the NFL cares about is performance. How well did you do when you were called upon to play?
After only three weeks of football, Pro Football Focus released their first offensive line rankings of the season. If you are going to look away, you do so now.
The Bengals ranked 31st in the NFL, trailing only the Dolphins. The differences between the two teams is that the Dolphins traded away their assets at offensive line, where as the Bengals signed three of their five opening day starters this offseason, suggesting that they were actually trying to get better.
If you have eyeballs, you can tell that the Bengals offensive line has been holding them back. The line has caused the Bengals to fall to dead last in the league in rushing offense, and didn’t exactly help the passing offense against Buffalo.
The silver lining is in Trey Hopkins, a former undrafted free agent. He went from practice squad to backup to spot starter to full-time. Now, with a 75.5 PFF grade, he is the fourth highest rated center in the NFL.
Its certainly possible that the Bengals can improve. In fact, it would be nearly impossible not to. With Hopkins at center, the Bengals can build a base around him when Jordan and Williams return. Even though Price was beat out by Hopkins for the starting job, don’t count him out just yet, either.