Cincinnati Bengals: 4 Potential Breakout Candidates for 2020
The Bengals have plenty of young talent on their roster, but who has the best chance to have a breakout season in 2020?
We are entering a new era of the Bengals‘ franchise, with the addition of Joe Burrow and many new starters on their way to Cincinnati this season. After adding a number of free agents and draft picks, it’s likely that fans will see new stars emerge going into the future. In this list of best Bengals breakout candidates, we exclude rookies and only list players that could greatly improve their numbers and productivity from previous seasons.
John Ross, WR
The former ninth overall draft pick has had his share of ups and downs since he entered the league in 2017. The 24-year-old has gained only 716 yards in three years as a Cincinnati Bengal. However, we got a glimpse of what he is capable of last season in the first two games. In week one of 2019, Ross gained 158 yards on seven receptions and scored two touchdowns. The following week, he totaled 112 yards and a touchdown on just four catches. If Ross can stay healthy, with Burrow now throwing to him, Bengals fans can expect a big leap in production from the speedy wide receiver.
Germaine Pratt, LB
With the addition of five linebackers this offseason, Pratt is going to have to prove himself even further. His numbers were solid in his rookie season, with 76 tackles and four tackles for loss, but with a crowded linebacker room, he’s going to have to establish himself as a reliable and productive leader of the Bengals defense. With all the help coming to the previously bottom-ranked Bengals defense, it could take some strain off the second-year linebacker, allowing him to improve in just one offseason.
Mackensie Alexander, CB
One of the Bengals new defensive additions, the former Minnesota Viking will be taking over the slot cornerback role left by Darqueze Dennard. Alexander was somewhat involved in Minnesota’s defense, but Bengals fans should expect a more involved role for the 26-year-old in Cincinnati. Dennard saw plenty of playing time in his time with the Bengals, and with Alexander primed to fill that role, we could see very similar levels in production, making him an impactful player on the Bengals defense. His speed and tackling consistency make him one of the more promising breakout candidates.
Rodney Anderson, RB
The second-year running back was unable to get any time on the field last season due to injury, but some reports this offseason have said the 23-year-old is healthy and ready to go. Joe Mixon will still be the number one running back for Cincinnati, but Anderson could see plenty of red-zone snaps, as he is more of a power back. The former Oklahoma halfback is someone Bengals fans should be excited to see healthy. Should he see time on the field, the power back is sure to be one of the breakout candidates behind Mixon.