Moments after Cincinnati selected Renell Wren in the fourth round of this year’s draft (125th overall), Bengals’ defensive line coach Nick Eason shared a nickname for the 6’5”, 318 pound tackle.
“I call him ‘Mount Wren,’” said Eason.
Renell digs the moniker.
“I do,” he said with a grin. “It sets a standard for myself.”
While ‘Mount Wren’ is a nod to Renell’s imposing physique, it could also apply to his towering potential. Dane Brugler, the NFL draft analyst for The Athletic, gave Wren a third round grade and ranked him as the 88th best player in this year’s class.
“Wren is incredibly raw from a technical standpoint,” wrote Brugler, “but he has the snap quickness, strength and effort to develop into a disruptive NFL player on the interior, projecting as a pure upside pick.”
The website ProFootballFocus.com also raved about Wren’s potential going into the draft, writing that Renell is “naturally gifted with great size, explosiveness, and athleticism, but he struggles with consistency.”
The rookie out of Arizona State says he’s been getting similar feedback since arriving at Paul Brown Stadium.
View the top images of defensive end Renell Wren from his collegiate career. Wren was selected by the Bengals in the fourth round.
“I talked to Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and the older veterans and they said, ‘You have the physical tools. It’s the little stuff that’s going to keep you on the field,’” said Wren.
The St. Louis native will go into training camp competing with Andrew Billings, Ryan Glasgow, Josh Tupou, Andrew Brown, Christian Ringo, and Niles Scott for playing time at defensive tackle and potentially a starting spot next to Geno Atkins.
“Rep by rep I have to continue to improve,” said Wren. “Whether I’m running with the ones, twos, or threes, I just have to have the mindset that whenever I’m in there I have to have an impact. Day by day I can’t be the same person. I have to keep improving.
“This is a job now so you have to get after it. If you’re not doing your job they are going to find somebody else.”
The top two defensive tackles in Bengals history were not high draft picks. Atkins was selected in the 4th round in 2010 and Tim Krumrie was a 10th round selection in 1983. Nobody is suggesting that Wren is a future Pro Bowler – at least not yet – but the team has high hopes that ‘Mount Wren’ can reach his peak at the NFL level.
“I still have a lot to prove,” he said. “I love my teammates already. Coach Eason is hard on me but I know that he loves me and everything. Now it’s about making them proud.”