Bold predictions for the Bengals’ other six rookies in 2020
By Aaron Burd
Bengals rookies: Logan Wilson will be a starter by the end of the year
In the third round of the draft, the Bengals finally addressed their linebacker position. A weak spot on the team for years, the front office has completely transformed the unit over the past two years. With the 65th overall pick, they selected Wyoming standout, Logan Wilson.
A four-year starter in college, Wilson has a lot of experience playing linebacker at a high level. His four seasons of consistently good production show that the 24-year old rookie is the real deal. During his career at Wyoming, Wilson had 409 total tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and 10 interceptions.
The Wyoming product brings one trait that has been severely lacking among Bengals’ linebackers for years: solid coverage skills. A great defender in the passing game, Wilson should be able to earn snaps in obvious passing situations early on in his rookie year. From there, he will impress more and more, getting himself additional opportunities.
While traditional defenses typically have three starters at linebacker, the Bengals generally use a nickel package that only requires two linebackers. Because of this, the Cincinnati defense essentially only has two starters at the position. Although Germaine Pratt and Josh Bynes will likely be the top two linebackers at the start of the year, Wilson should takeover for Bynes somewhere down the stretch.
He may not be a starter from week one of his rookie year, but you can bet on Wilson earning the starting job by the end of it. Similar to Pratt, who started his rookie year in 2019 on the bench before taking the spot from Preston Brown, it will take patience from the rookie linebacker. If he steals the job quick enough, the former Wyoming Cowboy could be a frontrunner for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. An impressive rookie year from Wilson could mean big things for the future of the defense.