The Cincinnati Bengals only had a single representative at the Pro Bowl this year in defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Here, we look at five players on the roster who could make their first appearance at the event in 2021.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been noticeably quiet at the Pro Bowl the past several seasons. Geno Atkins made his eighth appearance this year and defensive end Carlos Dunlap has also consistently qualified for the event.
Beyond those two, however, the team hasn’t added a player to rise to that level in quite some time. In fact, the front office hasn’t drafted a player who made the Pro Bowl since 2015, when Tyler Eifert earned the honor.
All of that can change in a hurry though. The Bengals have plenty of young talent on the roster who showed flashes of their potential. Here are five players currently on the roster who have a good shot at making their first Pro Bowl next year.
1. Joe Mixon
It’s not a question of if Joe Mixon will make a Pro Bowl but rather when. He’s been a 1,000-yard rusher the past two seasons despite playing behind a less than ideal line. If Zac Taylor finds a way to continue to let him dominate on the ground while also getting him involved in the passing game, it’s a virtual lock the 23-year-old earns the Pro Bowl honor.
2. Tyler Boyd
Much like Mixon, there is no question Tyler Boyd has the talent to make a Pro Bowl appearance. Boyd has also crossed the 1,000-yard mark in each of the past two seasons. That’s incredible production considering some of the obstacles the team has had to overcome. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see offensive coordinator Brian Callahan feature the former Pitt receiver in his gameplans more often in 2020, causing him to take the next step in his career arc.
3. Carl Lawson
Carl Lawson had a tremendous rookie season, acquiring 8.5 sacks upon entering the league. His performance earned him the title of Pro Football Focus’s breakout candidate for 2019. He had a solid year, earning 5 sacks, but it’s obvious there is another level he can reach. With Lou Anarumo entering his second year as defensive coordinator, expect him to dial up some stunts that allow Lawson to hit home more often than he already does. He’s got the ability to reach double-digit sacks and make a trip to the Pro Bowl.
4. Brandon Wilson
Brandon Wilson, the speedy 6th round pick out of Houston, has made a name for himself as a return man on special teams. His campaign was cut short due to injury, but if he can remain healthy he has the potential to represent the AFC as the best returner they have to offer.
5. John Ross
John Ross flashed the potential that caused the Cincinnati Bengals to select him with the 9th overall pick in last year’s season opener. He accumulated 158 yards and reeled in two touchdowns. He had some fun moments later in the year as well, but injuries haunted him again. If he can stay healthy, improve his catch rate, and soak up the benefits of a new franchise quarterback (Joe Burrow) then he has a shot at living up to his draft billing.
Honorable Mention: Jonah Williams
The coaching staff seems very optimistic that Jonah Williams can anchor the offensive line next year, and rightfully so. Williams was arguably the top offensive line prospect in the 2019 draft. With an entire season to get healthy and learn the NFL ropes, the former Alabama great seems primed to step right into the left tackle position. If he’s able to lead the unit back to respectability, it could earn him a Pro Bowl nod.