Cordell Volson had nothing guaranteed to him when the Bengals made him the 136th pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The 24-year old from North Dakota State arrived on a roster that was three months removed from a Super Bowl. Whatever role he would carve out would be earned by him and him alone.
Credit where credit is due.
Now just a week away from his rookie season beginning, Volson is set to start at left guard, sandwiched between veterans Jonah Williams and Ted Karras at left tackle and center, respectively.
The stakes are high for the rookie, just like his level of composure.
“Just continuing to get better,” Volson said of his game. “I think that’s the biggest thing about where we’re at right now. I still have a lot to learn, and I’m looking forward to learning all those things.”
Volson beating out second-year lineman Jackson Carman for the starting gig was simply an idea back in May. That it came to fruition just four months later is a testament to how much the fourth-round pick has progressed in such little time.
But earning the job for Week 1 and keeping it beyond that are two different things. For Volson to remain the starter, his development must continue as the season progresses.
“That’s the biggest thing. Being a better version of myself every day,” Volson said to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I know I keep saying it, but that’s what it comes down to. There are a lot of things I have to get better as I keep going.”
If nothing else, Volson’s got the classic jargon down pat. But it fits with the personality he arrived with a few months ago. Volson’s been about nothing else but the grind, and it’s paid off before his career officially began.
That mindset should continue to pay dividends as his first year progresses.