3 Cincinnati Bengals rookies to watch this year

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May 30, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Nixon pushes through on a carry during the Week 2 OTAs at the Cincinnati Bengals training facility. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK
May 30, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Nixon pushes through on a carry during the Week 2 OTAs at the Cincinnati Bengals training facility. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK /
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The 2017 Draft class was a sneaky haul for the Bengals. Hopefully, these three rookies will have a chance to do damage for Cincinnati.

OTAs are in full swing and the Bengals are getting ready for the big test. Training camp is around the corner and the goal is simple: get back to the playoffs. In order to accomplish that feat, the Bengals need to have spectacular performances from both the veterans and the draft class. The 2017 class could be just what the doctor ordered to get the Bengals back on track and prepared for the Big Dance.

This year’s locker room talk should go beyond just getting to the playoffs and winning, The Bengals have weapons that could get them deep into the aftermath of the regular season and could possibly (dare we think it) be looking at an AFC Championship.

Veteran players have come back ready to make a difference. The vets are seeing the talent of the young guns up close and personal. With 99 days and counting until the start of the season, who could be the standout youngsters for the Bengals?

The Law Of Lawson

Carl Lawson looks like the stud Cincinnati has been looking for on defense. Though the Bengals will be looking to use him as a linebacker in different packages, he has the ability to do so much more. His goal is to seek out and destroy the QB.

So far, he’s making an impression with the vets and that’s always a positive. Per NFL.com, the talk is all good about the former SEC player.  

"The Bengals might’ve snagged the best-kept secret at the edge rusher position when they selected Lawson with the No. 116 overall pick. The 6-2, 261-pound power player has a rugged game built on brute strength and physicality, yet he also flashes enough quickness and agility to win with finesse from a two- or three-point stance. On a defense that’s looking for a player with juice off the edge, Lawson’s combination of athleticism and pass-rush skills could help him carve out a role as a designated pass rusher and deliver enough sack production to crack the top-10 list."

Yup. Defense rules and Lawson may be part of the catalyst for the Bengals.

Here We Go Joe

What else needs to be said about Joe Mixon? He embodies the raw speed and power that the Bengals’ running game has been missing for a while. With Giovani Bernard recovering from ACL surgery, all eyes will be on Mixon and his brand of football.

What makes Mixon a threat isn’t just his ability to run the ball. He’s also a bona fide terror when he’s in space. Just picture the leaping twisting pass snags of James Brooks and the powerful glides of Corey Dillon and Rudi Johnson. That’s a tough bill to live up to. But, Mixon has the skills to do so.

Once again, the word is out. Mixon was tagged by the analysts for Rookie of the Year Candidate.

"In Mixon, Cincinnati added a potential every-down starter who has the size to run between the tackles as well as the speed and receiving skills to be a big problem for defenses in the passing game."

Look out Jeremy. Joe’s comin’ for ya.

No, It’s Not A Shrek

His name will quickly remind you of the green character voiced by Mike Myers. But, with Tyler Eifert nursing various injuries, C.J. Uzomah on the mend and Tyler Kroft yet to make noise, this could be the man.

Next: Gotta Stay Healthy

The Bengals snagged him from the Philadelphia Eagles for a reason. Mason Schreck made two visits to the Queen City and Marvin Lewis must have liked what he saw. He’s 6-foot-4, 253 pounds and ran a 4.76 40-yard dash. At Buffalo, he caught 59 passes for 651 yards.  If he’s a quick study, Schreck could go from pick number 251 of the seventh round to a household name.

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