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Cincinnati Bengals select Rod Taylor in final round of 2018 NFL Draft

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Taylor was projected as a seventh-round or UDFA prospect.

Mississippi v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Ole Miss offensive lineman Rod Taylor has been selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 252nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 6’3, 320 lbs. big man can fit in more or less across Cincy’s offensive line, assuming his rookie workouts impress the Bengals’ staff enough to do so.

The final round of the draft is typically reserved for picking up prospects that may or may not work out, and indeed the NFL.com profile on him includes typical criticisms of players’ non-football lives. Taylor was accused of stealing a bag of charcoal from an Oxford-area grocery a couple of years ago, and league scouts doubt his motivation, maturity, lack of length, and body control. Basically, common draftspeak euphemism for, um, players they don’t like.

Where Taylor may lack in mechanics and extracurricular buttoned-upness, he carries a load of experience across the offensive line. He filled in for Laremy Tunsil when the 2016 first-round left tackle had to sit out seven games in 2015, and he did so again on and off through the following two seasons as various injuries among the front five came and went. Most scouting reports dislike his ability at the edge, so if he’s going to make his name in Cincinnati or elsewhere, it will probably need to be as a guard.

Either way, Taylor marks the fourth and final Ole Miss player selected in the 2018 draft, and the 14th selected in the last three years. Matt Luke, if you’re reading this: RECRUITING TOOLS.