The trade for Cordy Glenn last month doesn’t mean the Cincinnati Bengals aren’t considering another tackle in the first round of the NFL Draft.
If there is a guy on the board whom the Bengals feel can be a plug-and-play starter at right tackle in 2018, they won’t hesitate to grab him.
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Glenn goes into the season as the projected starter at left tackle, but he’s missed 16 games the last two seasons so he’s hardly a lock. And given the uncertainty at right tackle, where Cedric Ogbuehi, Jake Fisher and newcomer Bobby Hart are expected to battle for the spot, adding quality depth to the group should be a top priority.
Even if the Bengals think new offensive line coach Frank Pollock can get Ogbuehi and Fisher to levels they have yet to reach since the team took them in the first and second rounds, respectively, in 2015, if there is a tackle available who they think they can plug in as a starter for the next six to eight years, it will be hard to look elsewhere.
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There might be as many as five tackles taken in the first round, and they could all still be available for the Bengals at 21.
Here are the top five prospects based a composite ranking from a number of scouts:
Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame (6-foot-8, 309 pounds)
McGlinchey, who is cousins with Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, also was recruited as a basketball player coming out of high school in Pennsylvania. A three-year starter at Notre Dame, McGlinchey played right tackle as a sophomore before moving to left for his junior and senior seasons. He earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl but declined.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: "McGlinchey will need to add more strength and mass to his athletic frame in order to hold up against NFL power, but his technique and instincts are pro-ready. He could be a polarizing prospect based on inconsistencies from his tape, but he gets guys blocked at a much higher rate than he loses his rep. McGlinchey should become an early starter at either tackle position, but his ability to handle bull rushers and power at the point of attack will define the type of career he has."
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Orlando Brown, Oklahoma (6-foot-8, 345 pounds)
The son of 11-year NFL veteran Orlando “Zeus” Brown, the younger Brown protected the blind side for Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Baker Mayfield and was named first team All-American and a finalist for the Outland Trophy before declaring early for the draft. He had a disappointing showing at the Combine – repping just 14 times in the bench press in addition to running a 5.85 40-yard dash and finishing last among all linemen in the vertical jump (19.5 inches) and broad jump (6-10).
Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com: "He did interview well with teams (at the Combine), but he illustrated that he needs work in a strength and conditioning program for the NFL. Brown is a strong blocker at the point of attack, which was illustrated by him consistently tossing defenders to the ground for Oklahoma. In pass protection, Brown has some athletic issues, like playing too high for the NFL, so speed rushers give him problems. Some team sources feel Brown should move inside to guard as a pro, but others believe that he will be a starting right tackle. Multiple team contacts think that Brown will be a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and project him as a starting right tackle. On the other hand, the 2018 NFL Draft is weak at the tackle position, which could push Brown to end up going on Thursday night of the draft."
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Connor Williams, Texas
A true junior who was a three-year starter for the Longhorns, Williams missed seven games with a knee injury last fall. He was a consensus All-American as a sophomore after being named a Freshman All-American in 2015. Williams sat out the Texas Bowl against Missouri to avoid further injury and prepare for the NFL Draft. He proved he was healthy at the Combine with the best vertical jump (34 inches) among linemen and the fifth-fastest time in the 40-yard dash (5.05).
Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com: Smooth in his shuffle and quickly finds his landmarks…flexible knees/joints to sit in his stance and maintain balance…anchors well in his pass-sets, staying relaxed prior to punch…efficient reset with his hands to tie up rushers…always on alert and avoids tunnel vision…athletic range to pull and block in space…quick out of his stance to pounce in the run game…lands his target, rolls his hips and drives his legs in the run game…blocks with a nasty finish, often taking his man to the ground…played in three different blocking schemes at Texas and adapted well to each …mature individual who developed as a vocal leader in 2017.
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Kolton Miller, UCLA (6-foot-9, 309 pounds)
Primarily a backup as a redshirt freshman, Miller started five games and won the starting job at right tackle as a sophomore. But he suffered a season-ending leg injury five games in the season. He returned to start all 13 games last year and was named second team All-Pac 12 before declaring for the draft.
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN: "(Miller) reminds me of former Patriots left tackle Nate Solder, who went in the middle of the first round in 2011. They both have huge frames, and they have great feet. Miller was an under-the-radar prospect coming into the season because of a foot injury that forced him to miss most of 2016. But he came into his own in 2017, and he has a high ceiling. Miller put up freaky athletic numbers at the combine, running a 4.91 40 and jumping 10-foot-1 in the broad jump. He has the type of traits NFL teams fall in love with, especially in a tackle class that doesn't have a clear No. 1 guy. I wouldn't be shocked if he went in the top 10.
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Tyrell Crosby, Oregon (6-foot-5, 309 pounds)
Crosby began his Oregon career as a left tackle, starting nine games there as a freshman, including the national championship game against Ohio State. After Jake Fisher’s departure to the NFL, Crosby played right tackle for two seasons before going back to left as a senior and earning first team All-Pac 12 honors and an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
Mike Renner, Pro Football Focus: "Crosby is arguably the most physical tackle in the entire class. He's also another player who has done it on both the left and right side in the college ranks. Crosby's not going to win any awards for his athleticism, and could ultimately end up at guard, but he's an easy projection as a run-blocker."
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