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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Clint Boling joins A.J. in Cincinnati (updated with quotes)

Could two starters on the 2011 Cincinnati Bengals' offense be rookies from Georgia? It's possible now.

The Bengals followed up their selection of receiver A.J. Green in Thursday's first round by tapping Clint Boling in the fourth round on Saturday. Boling is a versatile lineman who can play guard or tackle.

“There are a couple other guys from Georgia up there, too," Boling pointed out in a conference call with Cincinnati media. "Dennis Roland, Geno Atkins, and A.J. just got drafted, so we’ve got a couple of guys up there. I’m just really excited to be a Bengal.”

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said they would start Boling out at guard.

“He’s a big man, he’s got some strength, and he really is a competitor," Lewis said. "I feel he’ll come to Cincinnati and both add some depth and have the chance to compete on the interior of the line. He was in Mobile (for the Senior Bowl) on the other team (the South), so we got some exposure to him personally down there as well.”

Boling was basically a four-year starter for the Bulldogs, earning 49 starts, most at left tackle. But he also shifted to right guard, including during his senior season. That versatility will enhance Boling's chances of getting on the field for the Bengals.

ESPN analyst Todd McShay called Boling a “great value pick.”

“I think Boling will come in and legitimately compete for a starting position," McShay said during the ESPN draft broadcast. "He had some minor character issues, maybe that’s part of the reason he drops.”

(Boling was suspended the first game of the 2008 season because of a DUI.)

That makes four Georgia players to be picked so far. (Justin Houston and Akeem Dent were third-round picks). It could be awhile before another Bulldog gets picked: receiver Kris Durham, fullback Shaun Chapas, defensive end Demarcus Dobbs offensive lineman Josh Davis and cornerback Vance Cuff are all candidates.

EDIT: Literally as I was writing the above paragraph, the Seattle Seahawks picked Durham with the 107th overall pick. Another example of my idiocy.

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