22. Jordan Willis, DE
A raw talent coming out of college, Willis could have a bona fide breakout in 2018. Last season, Willis developed as he sat behind fellow rookie Carl Lawson. Now, Willis looks to build on his workload as he takes over for Michael Johnson. Willis profiles very similarly to Johnson as a bigger end, so expect him to line up all over the field. Willis could be a positive impact against both the run and the pass as he establishes himself on this defense.
21. Giovani Bernard, RB
Bernard is one of the longest tenured Bengals on this team, or at least it feels like it. A key piece of the offense for the last half decade, Bernard may start to see his workload decline with the ascent of Joe Mixon this season. Although he won’t be the lead back, Bernard will definitely be valuable this season. Bernard’s pass catching is elite and he is very efficient on his touches. Bernard could be in line for his most efficient season yet in a secondary role.
20. Billy Price, C
The Bengals’ highest drafted player this season, Price looks to make an impact on a bad offensive line immediately. One of the reasons for optimism along the line this season is Price, who comes in with the reputation as a great zone blocker from Ohio St. That will help him fit with OL coach Frank Pollack’s system. Price has played well in the preseason, although his training camp woes were well-documented. If he can get past those rookie jitters, Price should help patch up a poor offensive line.
19. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
Kirkpatrick is a polarizing Bengal, but now with a full preseason of health, he should be ready to go for 2018. Kirkpatrick’s flaws are very real, and he may still get burned from time to time this season. However, Kirkpatrick is a very good press corner with his size and length and is a good tackler. He also has the aggressiveness that Teryl Austin likes in his secondary. By not having to match up against WR1s, Kirkpatrick should have a nice bounce-back season.