Bengals need Logan Wilson to have a breakout season in 2021
The Cincinnati Bengals‘ run defense was atrocious last year, allowing the fourth-most rushing yards in the league. Even with that being the case, Cincinnati didn’t do a ton to improve the unit as a whole. They added four defensive linemen through the draft but didn’t add to the linebacker position.
One linebacker that the Bengals are hoping to see take a big leap this year is Logan Wilson, who Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report said is the Bengals’ biggest sleeper.
"However, the time has come for Wilson to step into the spotlight. After a quiet rookie season with two starts, 343 snaps and 33 total tackles, he has been tabbed as the starting “Mike” linebacker and defensive play-caller.Wilson was a machine in college, piling up over 400 stops in four years as a starter for the Cowboys. The Bengals need his tenacity and athleticism to improve on last year’s rankings of 26th in total defense and 22nd in scoring defense.Without that improvement, Cincy has no chance of breaking out of the AFC North basement."
Wilson was looking decent last year before suffering an injury but that was last year. This year, fans are excited to see if Wilson makes a jump. If he does, the linebacker group should take a big leap and that’s what’s needed moving forward.
The Bengals are counting on Logan Wilson more than ever.
In a division that has the electric run games of the Browns and the Ravens, the Bengals’ run defense has to be better this year if they want any chance of being relevant. The Bengals took Wilson in the third round last year because they believe he can make this run defense better and this is his chance to prove it.
He’s been dubbed as the team’s breakout player on more than one occasion and this is music to Bengals fans’ ears. The defense had several running backs run roughshod over them last year and while that’s going to happen a few times throughout the year, it can’t become a trend like it was last year and hopefully, that’s where Wilson comes into play.
Surrounding Wilson at the linebacker position, we have Germaine Pratt, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Jordan Evans, and Markus Bailey with Pratt and Davis-Gaither serving as the other starters. Joseph Ossai could factor in too depending on where the Bengals opt to play him.
Linebackers didn’t really step up to the plate last year and for some reason, Cincinnati didn’t make it a priority this offseason, which is puzzling. Wilson might be a reason as to why but he won’t be able to do it all.
Wilson is still young but year two is going to be a big one for him. As Davenport mentioned in his article, improvement is needed from Wilson if the Bengals’ run defense plans to get any better and not get destroyed every week.