Five young Cincinnati Bengals on the brink of their first Pro Bowl

Cincinnati Bengals, Sam Hubbard (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Sam Hubbard (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, William Jackson III(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Bengals on the Brink: William Jackson III

William Jackson III didn’t play to the level fans had grown accustomed to last season but the revelation that he played the entire year with a torn labrum explains the downtick. Now fully healthy, he figures to return to his top-flight level of performance.

The fact that he’s already got a full season of playing under defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo only helps matters. He’s gotten a chance to adjust to the way things are run under the new coaching regime.

Not to mention, the front office acquired Trae Waynes, who is known to excel in man-to-man coverage, suggesting Anarumo will put his corners on an island often. Jackson will shine in such a scheme, given his technique, footwork, and blazing speed.

He will also be flanked by more talent than he’s used to. Vonn Bell, Jessie Bates III, Mackensie Alexander, and the aforementioned Waynes will all help the entire secondary play up to par.

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Everything is lining up for the former Houston star to return to form and take a major leadership role in the backend of the Bengals’ defense. If all pans out, it could secure him his first Pro Bowl honor.