Bengals that can fill the void left by Trae Waynes: Darius Phillips
The first player that should be expected to assume the vacated starting position is up-and-coming corner, Darius Phillips. Cincinnati’s 2018 fifth-round pick has shown flashes of brilliance since trading in his collegiate uniform for stripes.
Last season alone, he was a turnover machine, hauling in four interceptions, despite playing in just 10% of the total defensive snaps. Making that statistic even more impressive is the fact that he was targetted just 16 times, meaning that 25% of the passes thrown his way resulted in a turnover.
The Bengals will look for him to continue his knack of generating extra opportunities for the offense. There’s no reason to believe he can’t continue to build upon what fans have witnessed from him so far. He’s got an adequate frame (5’10, 190 lbs.) and speed (4.54 second 40-yard-dash) to pair with the instincts and ball skills he’s already shown.
It will be interesting to see how an increased role will impact his ability both in his primary defensive responsibilities and in the return game. The 25-year-old suddenly has a plethora of roles he’s expected to heavily contribute in. Time will tell if the Detroit native will be able to handle them all at once.