Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Players to Watch In 2016

matthewwillson
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans cheer against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans cheer against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 16, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard (21) against the Houston Texans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Texans won 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 16, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard (21) against the Houston Texans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Texans won 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Darqueze Dennard

If there is one player who is still easily the future of this cornerback group, it is Darqueze Dennard. As a player who has fought through injuries the past two seasons, he is realizing that his time to earn his second contract is really becoming limited. His two years remaining, with team option for a fifth, could mean he only has two maybe three years to get himself to the starting role.

Dennard is a talented corner out of Michigan State. The Bengals know he has potential to overtake Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick on the depth chart. However his injuries are starting to haunt him, so much that the Bengals drafted William Jackson III in this year’s NFL draft in the first round.

Dennard dealt with an early hip injury in the preseason his rookie year. It kept him out of practice and preseason week one. Once everything started to look good for the Bengals back to see more action in year two, he ends up with a season ending shoulder injury, which required surgery. His ability to show durability has become a concern.

Before Dennard’s injury, he recorded 20 tackles, one interception, and 3 pass deflections in 10 games. His numbers are something he needs to improve on in year three. He has all the potential in the world, including the speed to keep up with most NFL receivers. He is looking to prove to the Bengals that he can be the cornerback they drafted in 2015.

Next: Cincinnati Bengals 2016 Outlook

All of these players are talented and will make the 53-man roster and are all starting caliber players for this team. Whether or not they perform to their potential will be a wait and see process. One thing for sure is, we are a month and a half away from training camp, but most of us are ready for football to start again.

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