5. Carl Lawson, DE
Last year’s breakout star, Lawson is looking to build on a phenomenal rookie year. Totaling 8.5 sacks his rookie year, Lawson will have a chance to add to that in year two. Considering how deep the Bengals’ pass rush is, especially with Carlos Dunlap on the other side, offenses will never be able to double team Lawson. He should have easy pathways to sacks throughout the season.
The fact that Lawson has already established himself as a premier pass rush in just on year is incredible, but there are some drawbacks still. One of them isn’t his fault – the Bengals simply won’t play him that much. Although this may make him more effective against the pass, it will limit his overall production. Also, Lawson has to prove he’s not a liability against the run. Even if he only plays 45-50% of snaps, though, Lawson will be an absolute beast. Look for him to gun for double-digit sacks on increased efficiency.