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Cincinnati Bengals: Four Potential Breakout and Rebound Candidates

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CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Cody Kessler #6 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after being sacked by Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of a game at Paul Brown Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 30-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Cody Kessler #6 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after being sacked by Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of a game at Paul Brown Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 30-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the more underrated teams in terms of roster talent. However, some guys have shown flashes without consistency. Other guys display their talent, but need a breakout season to get the team to the next level. Here are a few good breakout/rebound candidates for the 2019 season.

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 30: Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a sack during the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 30: Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a sack during the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Breakout:

John Ross, WR

This is an obvious selection.  Ross finished the season tied as the team leader in touchdown receptions with seven. Still, with only 21 receptions and 210 yards, Ross is due for a breakout and the Bengals need more from him. Like last year’s breakout receiver Tyler Boyd, Ross is in a make or break season heading into his third year. He possesses some route running abilities to pair with his 4.22 deep speed. If Ross can stay healthy, 2019 can be his year. The ability is there.

Sam Hubbard, DE

The second-year edge rusher from Ohio State had a solid outing in his rookie year. It is time for the next step.  Hubbard ended the season with six sacks and displayed quickness off the edge to be a nice complimentary rusher. He offered quality depth to an underrated defensive line rotation. If the defense can hold offenses on first and second down, Hubbard should see an increase in snaps and has a chance to be much more than depth.

Rebound:

Billy Price, C

Price graded out at an underwhelming 49.4 by Pro Football Focus as a rookie, but his passing grade of 66 is encouraging. Price came into last year’s draft as a top interior offensive line prospect. Unfortunately, he wasn’t healthy most of the 2018 season. After tearing his pectoral muscle during the bench press at the NFL combine, he injured his ankle in Week 2 and didn’t play up to par after all that. Coming into the offseason workouts healthy should bode well for the 2nd year center.

Carl Lawson, DE

Heading into his third year in the league, Lawson is rehabbing from an ACL tear. He hit the ground running his rookie year with 8.5 sacks and built excitement for his sophomore campaign before injuries derailed it seven games in. The Bengals need his pass rushing productivity because they ranked 28th in sacks, 20th in total pressures, 26th in pressure percentage, and 27th in pass-rush productivity (PFF). Lawson offers the speed, power, and bend off the edge needed to terrorize opposing quarterbacks.

Want to read more about Cincinnati’s offseason? Be sure to check out all of our Bengals coverage on Stripe Hype!

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