Reid Fragel to Bengals: How Does OT Fit with Cincinnati?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Cincinnati may have found a diamond in the rough with Reid Fragel.
Cincinnati may have found a diamond in the rough with Reid Fragel.Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Despite right tackle Andre Smith being back in the fold with the Cincinnati Bengals, the team appears serious about adding depth at the position as it selected two offensive tackles in the 2013 NFL draft. 

The first was Tanner Hawkinson in the fifth round, and the next was one many thought was a fourth- or fifth-round talent in the form of Ohio State's Reid Fragel

Instead, Fragel joined the Bengals via a seventh-round compensatory pick on Saturday, No. 240 overall. 

Fragel dropped because he is a work in progress who only has a few seasons under his belt as an offensive linemen, but as far as value goes in the seventh round, it does not get much better than this. 

Here's how Fragel fits with the Bengals. 

 

Role

For three years, Fragel acted as one of the tight end's on Ohio State's depth chart before making the transition to offensive tackle after adding 20 pounds to his already impressive frame. 

Fragel excelled at right tackle in his first season ever playing the position, earning an honorable mention All-Big Ten.

The fact of the matter is, Fragel dropped this far because he lacks the proper technique at the NFL level, which will result in him getting his quarterback killed. He also needs to add more weight, and it appears he can easily do so. 

In Cincinnati, the 6'8" and 308 pound Fragel will be stuck fighting for a roster spot with backup offensive tackles Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland. 

While Fragel certainly has the ability to make the roster as early as his rookie season, he's going to have to prove he is more reliable and as versatile a backup than Roland. 

The interesting thing is, Cincinnati loves to use Roland as an extra blocker who is eligible to receive passes. 

That's where Fragel's experience as a tight end for most of his career comes into play. This wrinkle of the Cincinnati offense is now more dangerous should Fragel make the final roster. Look for him to do so if the coaching staff wants to improve in this area and get him some real experience. 

 

Early Projections 

As it stands, the selection of Fragel by the Bengals organization is an outstanding one for the long-term. He can develop into either a starting right or left tackle. 

Fragel may very well be left tackle Andrew Whitworth's replacement in five or six years. 

He's also an underrated pickup now thanks to the Bengals aforementioned affinity with having an offensive lineman who can catch passes. 

Expect Fragel to make the roster this season and contribute here and there in certain situations. If not, he'll develop on the practice squad for a year before becoming a mainstay in Cincinnati as a backup at the very least.

 

All pertinent prospect info courtesy of CBS

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