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, Jessie Bates III (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

Bengals on the Brink: Jessie Bates III

You could make the argument that there is no young Bengal with a brighter future than Jessie Bates III. Drafted in the second round of 2018, he’s started every game since donning the orange and black, showing plenty of superstar potential along the way.

He’s been a ballhawk, securing 6 interceptions and 16 pass breakups in just his first two years in the league. At just 23-years-old, he’s shown impeccable range, mental processing, and ability to drop down in run support.

Speaking of the run defense, the Bengals should be much-improved in that area moving forward, allowing Bates to focus more on patrolling the backend. In the past, they’ve struggled heavily in stopping the run, forcing him to pay more attention to the box. If he can trust D.J. Reader and the revamped linebacker room to stop the ground game, he’ll be able to generate turnover after turnover in coverage.

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What we’ve seen from Bates is just the beginning and he appears to have even more room to grow. If he stays on his astronomical course, he won’t just earn a Pro Bowl selection, but a first-team all-pro honor.