4 most surprising Cincinnati Bengals of the 2021 season

Eric Bruns
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson - Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson - Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
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Germaine Pratt, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals’ Biggest Surprises – Germaine Pratt

Everyone expected Logan Wilson to be the leader of the linebacker corp and that rang true. Someone who was under the radar in the linebacking corp, however, was Germaine Pratt. The third-year player from NC State had a nice year for just his second full season as a starter.

This season he had an interception and two forced fumbles and half a sack. His growth has been more realistic and quiet than in other skill positions. Pratt’s play was integral to the Bengals and especially in the playoffs.

Maybe it is recency bias but Pratt’s performance this postseason has been impressive. Not only did he have the interception to seal the win against the Raiders. But according to Bengals PFF, he had the third-highest grade by a linebacker since 2006.

Pratt shined in the big games this season. It’s the type of growth that you want to see in your young players. The linebacking core is solid with Pratt and Wilson at the helm and while they’ll lose Al Golden to Notre Dame, this group is set up to succeed for the foreseeable future. That’s exactly what fans want to see.

Pratt was someone fans wanted to see have a nice year and that came to fruition. While his Pro Football Focus grade wasn’t the most eye-popping (47.1), he was still a valuable piece of this defense and was the one who ended the Bengals’ playoff drought with the interception of Derek Carr in the red zone back in the Wild Card round.

Next. 3 Best Offensive Linemen Available. dark

Which Bengal surprised you the most this season?

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