The Cincinnati Bengals selected Cordell Volson from North Dakota State in the fourth-round (136th overall) in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Volson is a fifth-year senior who played in nearly every game the Bison had over the past three seasons. He was a full-time starter at right tackle, but moved around and had experience at right guard as well. The Shrine Bowl standout is large and loves to enforce his will on the opposition. Many Bengals fans think that he could push to start at left guard this season. Let’s dive into the film and see if that’s a realistic expectation.
What He Does Well
- He processes stunts quickly and does a fantastic job to pick them up.
- He will drive and sustain his blocks in the run game.
- He loves to finish his run blocks with a pancake.
- He has good grip strength and shows the core strength necessary to torque defenders. He also has great size at 6-6, 315 pounds.
Areas of Concern
- Didn't dominate inferior competition like you would expect.
- Doesn't evenly distribute his weight in pass protection.
- He clicks his heels and narrows his base in pass protection.
Volson’s immediate impact is in the run game. He does a great job not only driving players, but sustaining those blocks and not falling off. He looks to finish guys into the ground on every play. He consistently torques defenders and moves them with his core strength as well allowing him to better seal or open up holes. He has great size which shows up in the run game as he is a force to be reckoned with.
Volson has experience running nearly every run play. He showed the ability to pull and kick out an end or lead up through the hole, to reach block on zone plays, back blocking, base blocking, and combination blocks. Anything the Bengals do in the run game, Volson most likely has experience making that block in some form.
My main concerns for him in this area are that he does not fire out of his stance really and that he can completely whiff at the second level because he either hangs on his first level block or looks for a kill shot. He plays with a very wide base in his stance and I think that if he tightened that a little bit, he would be able to shoot out of his stance quicker. He also needs to just reel it in a little bit with the aggression. Be fine with knocking a guy over a gap instead of putting them into the dirt sometimes.
Volson is going to need time to develop in pass protection. This makes sense because NDSU rarely passed the ball. He is very smart and has disciplined eyes. When teams try to run stunts on him, he is able to sniff it out and pick it up perfectly. Another positive area of pass protection for him is his grip strength. He will enter training camp with some of the best grip strength on the team.
The main issue for me is his kickslide. It’s not at an NFL level. It needs to be reworked from the ground up. He doesn’t keep his weight on the midline which is a huge issue in the NFL. He always will have all of his weight on one foot or the other at some point in his pass set. To go with that, he narrows his base and clicks his heels when kicksliding. This issue could lead to him getting railroaded by some of the talented 3-techniques in the league. Both of these issues stem from the fact that he does not have a good kickslide.
He doesn’t seem to really kick and then he just kind of shuffles his way backward. At the FCS level he got away with it because NDSU hardly ran any drop back passes and when they did, he was going against guys who wouldn’t sniff the NFL. He could win against them because he is an NFL-caliber athlete and he is bigger than them. When you replace a future dental assistant with Fletcher Cox things become much more difficult. Unless his kickslide is fixed before the season, I think it would be malpractice to put him out there against Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward in Week 1.
At the very least, Volson will be a high priority backup for the Cincinnati Bengals. If he can fix his issues in pass protection, he could even start for them. I don’t see that happening this season, but it is possible that Frank Pollack and the rest of the coaching staff can get him coached up to at least a passable level during the offseason. By the end of his rookie deal he could either be the first guy off the bench at guard and tackle or starting somewhere on the offensive line.
Make sure you bookmark All Bengals for the latest free agency news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more!
You May Also Like:
Be sure to keep it locked on All Bengals all the time!