The Cincinnati Bengals have done a great job of upgrading the offensive line this offseason, but they still figure to take at least one more in this year’s NFL Draft.
One such option is a versatile player from Texas A&M. Kenyon Green is big, pro-ready and versatile—all making him a valued commodity in this year’s class. Let’s have a look at him.
Age: 20 (21 on March 15th)
Position: Offensive Guard/Offensive Tackle
Projected Round: Mid-Late First/Early Second
Coming out of high school, Green was a highly-touted tackle prospect and seemed to be ready to play that position right away. He was a five-star recruit, who had initially committed to LSU and then changed his mind, settling on Texas A&M, which was closer to his hometown.
Upon arriving at Texas A&M, Green was the starting right guard as a true freshman and not initially used as a tackle. He moved to left guard from there as a sophomore and then played four different spots on the line last year because of various team injuries.
In 2021, the accolades came rolling in for Green. He was an AP First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC selection, as well as being a Walter Camp Second-Team All-American selection. These awards came on the heels of Green starting 12 games at four different positions along the offensive line (right and left tackle, as well as right and left guard).
Versatility is one of Green’s biggest values to teams like the Bengals. Cincinnati has long coveted offensive linemen who can show the ability to play multiple positions on the line in an effort to maximize roster spots.
Green’s best positions are at the guard spots in the NFL, with his strongest and most games on his tape coming from left guard. He is a polished player and once he gets into a defender, it’s over. Green often also shows high levels of awareness and the ability to seek out contact in an effort to aid in blocking.
I think I'm starting to fall in love with Kenyon Green (Texas A&M LG 55) pic.twitter.com/fy3cJB59lj— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) June 29, 2021
The versatility gene also stems in his ability to morph to different schemes. Jimbo Fisher runs a pro-style offense at A&M, but there are a lot of zone concepts. Additionally, Green played on the line during a time when an RPO-friendly system was in place in Kellen Mond’s tenure as quarterback. As we know, the Bengals run a lot of zone plays in their system, so Green being exposed and playing well in a number of different looks is a great feature of this potential pick.
Green was also a team captain and is known as a high-character guy. That’s always appealing in today’s NFL and something the Bengals’ staff has liked in their players of late.
While the versatility is nice and looks great at first blush, teams would have to be in a pretty bad way at tackle for him to play there. He doesn’t have ideal height for the outside and was pressed into those positions because of injuries along the Aggies’ line. We again want to praise Green’s efforts in college as a tackle, but while he has starts there, teams will mostly be wanting him as a guard only.
The other knock was that Green tested average in pre-draft drills. He was a lower on bench press reps than most would have wanted and didn’t explode with athleticism elsewhere to make up for it.
Kenyon Green is a OG prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 5.85 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 505 out of 1215 OG from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/DFJdJKHsPd #RAS pic.twitter.com/OXyNUAkgaf— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 28, 2022
Teams will need to rely on the game tape—particularly at guard—for their evaluations.
Green could crack a starting lineup soon—particularly ones on teams with open competitions. Teams will like his tape, in general, but Cincinnati will also really like it because of it coming from the rough-and-tumble SEC.
Some other facets that will attract the Bengals is his character. As mentioned above, Green was a 2021 team captain for the Aggies, and we know that’s always an appealing resume point for Zac Taylor and Co.
The former Aggies lineman seems to be a safe pick even with the lower testing scores than some would have preferred. He has also been mocked often to another offensive line-hungry team in the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the Bengals going heavy on the interior of the offensive line during free agency, Green may be more of an insurance or luxury pick for the immediate future. Cincinnati’s coaching staff has been bullish on Jackson Carman and D’Ante Smith as they enter their second season and the only remaining open spot on Cincinnati’s rebuilt offensive line is at left guard—a spot where Green’s best tape stems.
Still, after an expensive overhauling of the line during March, not many folks have the Bengals going interior offensive line with their earliest picks. In that case, Green may make more sense elsewhere. If he does land with the Bengals though, he’ll be a useful Swiss Army Knife player early with the ability to crack the starting line midway through his rookie deal, if not sooner.