Bengals: 4 best-kept secrets on Cincinnati’s current roster

Bengals, Darius Phillips
Bengals, Darius Phillips /
3 of 5
Bengals, Trey Hopkins
Bengals, Trey Hopkins Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Trey Hopkins, C, Cincinnati Bengals

Trey Hopkins is one of the best success stories on the Bengals’ roster. An undrafted free agent back in 2014, Hopkins bounced around on the practice squad for a couple of years before finally getting his big break in 2017.

The Texas product started 12 games at right guard that year, missing four games due to a knee injury. He spent the next few seasons proving his versatility at both guard and center.

Now firmly established as the Bengals’ full-time starting center — a role he has held in each of the last two seasons — Hopkins is one of the more underrated players on the team.

The Bengals’ offensive line was nothing short of a disaster last season, but Hopkins remained one of the few starting-caliber players.

He started 15 games and finished with a very respectable PFF grade of 63.8 which ranked 18th at his position. That’s right about where he should be valued too.

Hopkins isn’t a star by any means, but he’s a solid starter whose versatility is a plus for any organization.

The big question entering 2021 revolves around his health, however. Hopkins is coming off a torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered in Week 17 of last season and likely won’t be ready for Week 1.

When he returns, will he be the same player that he was prior to his injury?

That, of course, remains to be seen. But the pre-injury Trey Hopkins is a rock-solid starting center who might never receive the recognition he deserves.