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Quick Hits: Senior Bowl Displays Big Men And One Has a Bengals Mentor

OT Orlando Brown Jr. warms up before kickoff of the Colts-Bengals game in Week 14 of the 2023 season.
OT Orlando Brown Jr. warms up before kickoff of the Colts-Bengals game in Week 14 of the 2023 season.

MOBILE, Ala. _ There's an interesting mix of potential right tackles gathered here at the Senior Bowl. One even has a Bengal as a mentor. As Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin says about the big guys, don't lose sight of them on your draft board.

"People disappear pretty quickly and the line of scrimmage disappears faster than anything else," Tobin said after arriving from workouts at the East-West Game in Frisco, Tex., and getting his first look Tuesday at the Senior Bowl linemen.

"You have to be good upfront. That's where it always  starts and that's where it starts this year. There is a good crop of linemen. This is a good game here. They've done a good job bringing in people. Even at the East-West game there were some guys that were interesting."

The early offseason vibe has been this is a strong tackle class and they are going to be people of interest for the Bengals since right tackle Jonah Williams is a free agent. They love how Williams quietly and competently moved from left to right tackle, but they don't know if they can keep him.

What they do know is what they're looking for up front and in this data-driven age, it's almost anti-analytics. Tobin acknowledges the massive difference in the up-tempo perimeter college game as opposed to the pro game when it comes to projecting tackles.      

"There are traits and it's a lot about intangibles and get to what makes a guy tick," Tobin said. "You want guys  that grind and fit into the group. You want a guy that wants to be in the group. If they don't act that way off the field, then normally they're not going to suddenly act that way on the field."

OB CONNECTION: Which means they'll love Oklahoma right tackle Tyler Guyton, massive and athletic at 6-7, 328 pounds. He's had Bengals left tackle Orlando Brown in his phone for a long time.

"He's been a great mentor. He's been like a big brother," Guyton said after Tuesday's American team practice at Hancock Whitney Stadium. "He's telling me to take this time very personal because it's going to separate me going into the draft. He's very respectful to me even though he's already in the league, but he talks to me like a brother."

Brown, his Oklahoma ancestor, has caught the eye of Tobin in that department after his first season in Cincinnati.

"Orlando, his intangibles are off the charts," Tobin said. "His tangibles are off the chart. He's big. He's hard to get around. He's everything that we saw that we wanted and we wanted a guy with substance to him on and off the field and we got that. I'm pleased for Orlando and as he enters year two in our scheme with our players, he'll get even better."

BOARD PLAY: Guyton, who is the 33rd player on the Pro Football Focus big board, has been working for the past year with former Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander. Alexander, who works for agents getting their clients ready for the draft,  just recently began working with Oregon State right tackle Taliese Fuaga, a very large man at 6-6, 332 pounds playing this week for the Nationals rated No. 12 overall on the board, as well as Texas right tackle Christian Jones, rated No. 128.

PFF raved about all three Tuesday, especially the way Guyton was asking to take on the American's best pass rusher, Alabama's Chris Braswell, quite conveniently,  ranked just behind Guyton on the big board at 34.

Watching Brown on tape and listening to Alexander has been helpful in that matchup.

"He's patient. His sets are always the same. He's consistent. One of the best," Guyton said. "Paul taught me how to stay patient on pass sets and working against inside moves. Not shooting hands before my feet. Feet before hands."

By the way, Guyton loves the looks of Cincinnati and the Bengals. He took note when the Sooners came into town last September and beat the University of Cincinnati.

"I didn't know much about it until then. It's beautiful," Guyton said. "I like the Bengals. I like Joe Burrow. I like (Ja'Marr) Chase. I like the whole offensive scheme."

MORE BIG MEN: Talk about very big intangibles. After the National practice, Fuaga was in an end zone working with Utah guard Sataoa Laumea and BYU tackle Kingsley Suamataia on some sets.

"Rusty. First time in pads since the Oregon game," Fuaga said.

He says he's the kind of guy that sets the table with aggressiveness and physicality and "run the same running play until you stop it."

He lined up a few times Tuesday against National teammate Laiatu Latu, the highly-ranked edge from UCLA. Fuaga held up well in Oregon State's win. Latu had just a half-sack while OSU rushed for 133 yards.