Tanner Hawkinson to Bengals: How Does OG Fit with Cincinnati?

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Photo courtesy of www2.ljworld.com.
Photo courtesy of www2.ljworld.com.

Up until the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals had been absolutely nailing each and every need with outstanding value. 

That all came to a screeching halt in the middle of the fifth round. 

Cincinnati used the No. 156 overall pick to select offensive guard Tanner Hawkinson out of Kansas. 

It's no secret the Bengals needed more depth along the offensive line in all areas, but Hawkinson was a confusing selection to say the least. 

Let's take a look at how Hawkinson fits into the Bengals plans. 



Hawkinson's selection is one that is sure to polarize the Bengals fanbase. He's a converted tight end who set a school record with 48 career starts at both left and right tackle. 

Now in the NFL, Hawkinson best fits as an interior guard or center. He lacks enough power to be a significant contributor, as he showed at Kansas' pro day by repping 225 pounds just 13 times on the bench press. 

Hawkinson is an underrated athlete with good length, but he's going to need some time to develop. 

Interestingly enough, the Bengals may love Hawkinson because he resembles another offensive tackle currently on the roster who the team drafted back in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL draft—Anthony Collins. 

Like Collins, who was outstanding in spot-duty over the past few years, Hawkinson may have a chance to out-play where he was selected. 

On the depth chart, Hawkinson will likely make the roster as a backup guard who also doubles as a backup center. He's not a threat to win a starting job by any means, but he could be a quality backup to Trevor Robinson, Kevin Zeitler and whoever ends up manning the left-guard spot. 

It will take a few years before Hawkinson gets a chance at a starting job. If he's anything like the aforementioned Collins, he at the very least has a chance to stick around as a backup. 


Early Projections 

Further hurting Hawkinson's chances of being a popular pick among the Cincinnati fanbase is the fact that other prospects such as Ohio State's Reid Fragel and San Jose State's David Quessenberry were still on the board and considered much better players by folks such as CBS

Still, you have to remember Hawkinson, like either of the other guys, would not be asked to make an immediate impact anyway with right tackle Andre Smith back in the fold. 

It once again appears that head coach Marvin Lewis and Co. had their sights set on one prospect all along and pulled the trigger. 

Next year, Hawkinson will likely make the roster and act as a backup. A few years down the line could be a different story for better or worse, but for now, Hawkinson is fighting for a backup role on one of the NFL's best offensive lines. 


All pertinent prospect info courtesy of CBS

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