Cincinnati Bengals: 6 bold predictions for the 2021 rookie class

Ja'Marr Chase (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) -Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Following the 2021 NFL Draft, many Cincinnati Bengals fans had to feel excited about the incoming rookie class the front office had acquired. Though a sizable contingent of fans may have preferred a certain large Oregon Duck, it is undeniable the team walked away with substantial improvements to the offensive and defensive lines as well as one of the most dynamic receivers to declare in the last decade.

The 2020 NFL Draft proved to be a mixed bag for the Bengals, as top picks Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins enlivened the offense (when they played). However, the young linebacker trio of Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, and Markus Bailey failed to make a sizable impact on the second level, while defensive end Khalid Kareem and offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji were largely invisible last year.

Especially from the later rounds, the Bengals should expect to get uneven contributions from their draftees this year. Even if the bar is high for Ja’Marr Chase and Jackson Carman, other Bengals may take time to acclimate.

However, let’s dive into some of the outlier possibilities from this year’s class, as the Bengals may have stumbled onto several late-round gems.