The Cincinnati Bengals continued the rebuild of their offensive line by selecting Ohio State center Billy Price with the 21st pick in the NFL Draft tonight.
Price suffered a pectoral injury at the NFL Combine, creating doubt about how far his draft stock would plummet, but all indications are he will be ready for training camp, if not sooner.
Price said he was hopeful to hear his name called in the first round but was still stunned when the phone call came.
“I sat there and looked at my phone,” he said. ” I looked at my agent and said, ‘Holy (crap). It’s Cincinnati.’ He’s like ‘Well, you’ve got to answer the phone.’
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling right now,” Price added. “I’m oozing with emotions right now because this is exactly what I wanted in this draft, for me to be able to go as high as possible and to stay home in Ohio, to stay in the midwest and to bring the brand of Ohio State football down to Cincinnati and to completely be able to do everything, all my hopes and dreams for the NFL.”
Last month the Bengals traded for Cordy Glenn, who is expected to start at left tackle. And Price will enter camp as a projected starter after the Bengals let four-year starter Russell Bodine leave for Buffalo in free agency.
“My goal is to finish up my career at Ohio State and transition to the NFL and set this league on fire from Day 1,” Price said. “It’s that expectation to go and earn a starting job, to compete from Day 1, to be that plug-and-play player at center or guard or whatever the team wanted. There’s a lot of pride coming with me. I have sky high expectations for myself.”
Price is the fourth center the Bengals have selected in the first round, joining Bob Johnson (1968), Blair Bush (1978) and Dave Rimington (1983).
Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, whom the Bengals also were high on, went 20th the Detroit Lions, one pick before the Bengals.