For just the third time in their history the Bengals traded up in the draft Saturday and they selected a center some believe can be a decade-long starter in the NFL when they tapped North Carolina’s Russell Bodine.
The Bengals gave their first of two six-rounders to Seattle to move from No. 123 to No. 111 and grabbed the 6-3, 310-pound Bodine, a two-year starter that declared for the draft as a junior.
Bodine has a take-charge reputation as a locker-room leader as well as a mauler persona on the field. He comes out of the same quick-paced shotgun offense that produced Bengals running back Giovani Bernard, but has snapped to the quarterback in goal-line situations.
The Bengals cut long-time starter Kyle Cook earlier in the offseason and have been seeking a more physical presence in the middle. They also re-signed Mike Pollak, in part, to replace Cook, but Pollak, a natural center in college, has only played guard in the NFL.
“A physical player who enjoys playing the game,” according to Ourlads Scouting Services. “Not a finesse player. Players with attitude and effort…Plays with head on the swivel. Square in pass protection. Will get push in the running game.”
The last time the Bengals traded up in the draft was in the 2002 third round, when they traded with Detroit to go up from No. 73 to No. 67 for Texas Christian tight end Matt Schobel. That came seven years after they went up from No. 5 to No. 1 in a trade with Carolina that gave them Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter.
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