Round 1, Pick 21: C Billy Price to the Cincinnati Bengals
Per usual, the Ohio State Buckeyes have provided a high-quality offensive lineman to the NFL. Center Billy Price was the second and last Buckeye to be selected in the first round of this year’s draft.
The teams that are fortunate enough (or smart enough) to have selected an offensive lineman from Ohio State are rarely disappointed. Notable linemen who have been drafted out of Ohio State in the past few years include Detroit Lions OT Taylor Decker, Vikings C Pat Elflein, Colts OT Jack Mewhort, and Packers C Corey Linsley.
Each of these linemen has made major impacts on their teams throughout the league and have found ways to be successful. Decker saw playing time right out of the gate with Detroit, Elflein just made a playoff run with the Vikings, Mewhort has been a major piece for the Colts’ line, and Linsley got his start quite early with the Packers and has turned into a major piece for the line protecting All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
It was tough seeing Price play his final games as a Buckeye. He’s been through so much with the team over his long four years. One thing to keep in mind is that Price didn’t even play center for the Buckeyes for most of his time there. He was a guard for three years up until the departure of Elflein who also switched to center toward the end of his Buckeye tenure.
Price also attained many awards and was one of the more decorated players on the Buckeyes’ roster. In his first and only year as a center, Price received the Rimington Trophy as the top center in all of college football. In 2017, he was also a unanimous All-American and won the Rimington-Pace offensive lineman of the year award in the Big Ten.
Instead of looking for another quarterback to fix their immediate issues on offense, the Bengals have opted to further bulk their offensive line to protect Andy Dalton. Selecting a veteran type player with the pedigree to go along with it in Price was certainly the right choice regardless. Price should step in and make an immediate impact as one of the anchors to the Bengals’ offensive line.