The Cincinnati Bengals arguably had one of the biggest surprise seasons ever in NFL history in 2021. A big part of that was multiple players surprising everyone with their play. The stripes may have had help with some luck and a softer schedule but the players still had to do their part and make the plays.
A mixture of free agency signings and drafted players immensely helped the Bengals with this dream season. Four of the biggest offseason signings prior to the 2021 season were Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, and Larry Ogunjobi.
They also signed Riley Reiff from Minnesota to the offensive line. Unfortunately for Reiff, the offensive line was still a spot on contention for the Bengals in 2021 and he was injured in December and therefore, couldn’t help out during the playoff run.
In the 2021 draft, the Bengals got a star who lived up to the hype and more plus a diamond in the rough with their kicker, Evan McPherson. Unfortunately, one we didn’t get to see this season is Joseph Ossai who suffered an injury during the preseason and missed the entire 2021 campaign. Hopefully, he’ll be back in 2022 making that D-Line even fiercer.
In this article, I am going to highlight two draft picks that were major surprises in 2021, one free-agent signing who also surprised in a big way, plus a player who has grown over the last three seasons.