Change coming at guard for Bengals

Mike Wilkening
April 18, 2012
Bengals DE Johnson receives franchise tag

The Bengals will have at least one new full-time starter at guard, and perhaps two. Their former starting left guard, Nate Livings, signed with Dallas, and ORG Bobbie Williams remains unsigned. The Bengals have added a pair of veteran guards in free agency — ex-Ram Jacob Bell and ex-Panther Travelle Wharton. Both have played on the left side throughout their careers. Wharton (6-4, 312) and Bell (6-5, 304) both move fairly well; Wharton has occasionally been a starting left tackle, adding to his value.

Second-year pro Clint Boling, who started three games at right guard while Williams served a four-game suspension to begin 2011, could also draw starting consideration inside. Otis Hudson, who’s spent most of his two seasons in Cincinnati on the practice squad, is another option. Also, head coach Marvin Lewis hasn’t closed the door on Williams returning, according to

The way we hear it, a better read on the Bengals’ guard plans could come after the draft. They have selected at least one offensive lineman in each of the last 11 drafts.