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Cordell Volson Wins Starting Job Over Jackson Carman

Rookie Cordell Volson was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals out of North Dakota State. The general idea was that he would be a key depth piece that could continue to develop into a potential starter. He is very versatile and has the ability to play multiple spots across the line.

However, Volson set the scene and kept improving throughout training camp. Along with Jackson Carman severely underachieving in his 2nd year, got Volson the nod as the starting left guard going into week one vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It is important to note that Carman is still just 22 years old; actually, Volson is older than him. However, Carman has a year under his belt at the NFL level, and he started some very important games last season for the Bengals throughout the year. Before training camp, it wasn’t even much of a thought who would maintain that starting job.

Everybody expected it to be Carman and for him to take a step forward in a positive direction. That was not the case. Zac Taylor has said that Carman is still in a good spot and is happy about his progress this summer, but he doesn’t think he is ready yet. Volson’s readiness speaks volumes about his work ethic and natural ability.

“Consistent growth. He improves every day,” Taylor said. “He takes the teachings and really fights to work on it each day. There’s a consistency there that we know what we’re getting.”

What the offensive line depth chart could look like

  1. LT: Jonah Williams – Isaiah Prince

  2. LG: Cordell Volson – Jackson Carman – D’Ante Smith

  3. C: Ted Karras – Trey Hill

  4. RG: Alex Cappa – Max Scharping

  5. RT: La’el Collins – Hakeem Adeniji

It is not a weak depth chart by any means because guys like Adeniji, Prince, Carman, and Hill got many reps as starters last season, and even though the offensive line wasn’t that successful, the Bengals still know they can win games with those guys out there.

Max Sharping recently claimed off waivers from the Houston Texans, but it was a high-value move. Scharping has proven he can be a capable and consistent blocker in this league, and he is a very big depth addition to this team. If Volson struggles out the gate, don’t be shocked if they skip Carman and go to Scharping to take over that left guard spot.

Keep an eye on Volson during the Steelers matchup because he will have his hands full with the interior linemen they have at their disposal. Volson will have an actual test to kick off his NFL career, and I think that will only help him in the long run.

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