UCLA Bruins guard Will Redmond is signing with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent. Tony Pauline was the first to report the news
Redmond, a 6'5", 294-pound lineman, started 31 games for the Bruins over the last three seasons, mostly at guard. The junior entered the 2016 NFL Draft following the Bruins' regular-season finale while opting not to play in his team's bowl game.
CBS Sports has Redmond ranked as their 316th-best prospect, while ESPN Scouts Inc. has him at 314th overall. The guys at Scouts Inc. also provided some clarity on why Redmond left for the draft early:
Having a young daughter likely impacted Redmond's decision to declare for the draft and that's admirable. The way he handled that decision, however, could raise concerns for some teams. He left UCLA the week of its bowl game and hired an agent after he was declared academically ineligible. More importantly, he's an undersized guard with athletic limitations and underwhelming 2015 tape. As a result he projects as a late round pick or rookie free agent.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein made it sound as though Redmond's departure may have more negativity to it.
SOURCES TELL US "I would say he shouldn't have come out, but I'm hearing he was having issues in school which is why he did it. That's important because we need to know if he's intelligent or if he has work ethic issues that are pro concerns. He's athletic but weak. Late round at best." -- Pac-12 area scout
NFL COMPARISON Cody Wallace
BOTTOM LINE Redmond is a very good athlete for the guard position but may not have the strength or frame to stick long term even with a zone scheme team. He has some talent and field intelligence and his best chance might be to continue to add as much bulk as he can and then try and make the move inside as a zone-scheme center with range.
The comparison to Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Cody Wallace is probably enough of a turn-off for Bengals fans, but the team obviously liked what they saw in Redmond enough to meet with him before the draft and then sign him as soon as the draft ended.
As for his outlook in Cincinnati, the Bengals can probably get him onto the practice squad for a year while Clint Boling, Kevin Zeitler, Trey Hopkins, Eric Winston, Christian Westerman and/or T.J. Johnson hold down the fort at guard this coming season.