The Bengals didn’t address the offensive line in this year’s draft, but they may already have an upgrade on their roster.
Ben Brown tore his bicep during training camp last season, which meant he had to spend his entire rookie year on injured reserve.
The undrafted free agent from Ole Miss has a chance to bolster the Bengals’ interior offensive line depth if he can stay healthy.
I went back and watched film of his final college season to see what he brings to Cincinnati’s offensive line room.
Brown was selected to the SEC All-Freshman team as a guard after his redshirt freshman season at Mississippi in 2018 and played another 12 games the following year at the same position.
After spending the 2020 season at center, he was the starting guard for the Rebels in 2021 until he tore his left bicep.
He showed some impressive play strength in his final year of college ball, showcasing a violent punch and ability to torque defenders in the run game. While he has an extremely powerful punch, his inconsistent hand placement is a concern. With his higher pad level, he could be liable to miss relatively frequently early on in his NFL career (once he’s able to play).
His patience in pass protection was a major highlight in every game I watched and he pairs that well with an above average sense of awareness. He seemed to know where the ball carrier was at all times and where to funnel defenders at any point in a play.
Ben Brown spent his rookie season on the IR, but looks like a sneaky pick for a potential (internal) IOL upgrade this season. I’d like to see him be more aggressive overall and have more control at the second level. However, he has a strong punch, solid base and good balance. pic.twitter.com/fn1gkrIWW1
— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) May 3, 2023
After suffering another bicep tear in training camp during his rookie season, he was all but forgotten by fans even after the team suffered multiple injuries near the end of the season.
Brown could bolster the Bengals’ interior offensive line. It’s a position that has lacked depth in recent seasons. From what I’ve seen, he should be an immediate threat to Trey Hill roster spot (Brown is listed as a center on the roster) as Ted Karras’ backup.
His experience as a guard throughout the majority of his collegiate career should allow him to provide versatility as a depth piece for the Bengals. I believe he has a legitimate shot to become a top eight offensive lineman on this team, which means he would be active on gameday.
Bengals’ biggest remaining needs following NFL Draft