3 breakout candidates for the Bengals’ 2020 offense

Mike Jordan, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Mike Jordan, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals, Michael Jordan (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Bengals’ breakout candidates: Michael Jordan, Offensive Guard

For the Bengals, the offensive line is perhaps the unit most in need of a breakout stud. In a recent ranking of NFL offensive lines, Pro Football Focus gave the Cincinnati unit no praise, slotting them in as the 31st best line in the league. With the hype surrounding Joe Burrow heading into his rookie season, the Bengals can’t afford to have such a bad line in 2020.

The first name that comes to mind is Jonah Williams. However, he has not played football in pads in over a year and will be entering his first season as a pro, so there are bound to be kinks for the former Alabama tackle. There is another second-year lineman who could break out though, and that’s former Ohio State guard Michael Jordan.

Not to be mistaken for the former Chicago Bull, Jordan is a 21-year-old guard who was selected by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. After an impressive preseason, he shocked everyone by earning the starting left guard job as a rookie. Despite this, his first season as a pro was mixed at best.

Entering his second-year, the Bengals’ staff has shown a lot of confidence in the former Buckeye. Even with being given plenty of opportunities to replace Jordan throughout free agency and the draft, the front office and coaches stood pat on the youngster, choosing not to add any competition at the left guard spot. This leaves Jordan as the presumptive starter at left guard.

With the faith the staff showed in Jordan this offseason, it’s clear that they are big fans of the young guard. Although his rookie year was a mixed bag, he flashed potential. Evidently, the Bengals’ coaching staff believes they can capitalize on his talent. In 2020, Jordan is a prime candidate to become a standout on the Bengals’ offensive line.