The Cincinnati Bengals had an eventful offseason in 2021, with multiple prominent players leaving the team through free agency including A.J. Green, William Jackson III, and Carl Lawson. Multiple new faces were added through free agency and the draft as well with notable names like Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie, and Ja’Marr Chase joining the team.
After their busy offseason, the Bengals have most of their starting spots locked down. However, there are a few players who could surprise everyone and earn starting roles with an impressive performance in training camp and preseason play this summer.
With OTAs starting this week and training camp soon to follow, there will be plenty of fringe players working their hardest to impress the coaching staff. Many of these players will just be hoping to earn a roster spot, but a few of them may just earn themselves a spot in the starting lineup.
The coaching staff’s final decisions on the starting lineup could end up making or breaking the Bengals’ 2021 season. Sometimes a team is only as strong as their weakest link and the Bengals need to ensure that even their weaker positions have the right player holding down the position, or else they could have a glaring hole for opponents to target.
In the following slides, I will outline three of these surprise players who could end up starting for the Bengals in 2021. Whether it’s at linebacker, punt returner, or offensive line, these three have the highest shot of any of the dark horses on the roster.