Starters: Sam Hubbard, D.J. Reader, B.J. Hill, Trey Hendrickson
We’ll see the same group back upfront for the 2022 season and if Larry Ogunjobi does come back at some point, he’ll be a nice rotational piece to have for sure.
Sam Hubbard was a third-round pick in 2018 and signed an extension last summer, tying him to Cincinnati through 2025. It was a no-brainer to extend Hubbard and the Cincinnati native didn’t disappoint in 2021, tallying a career-high 7.5 sacks through 16 starts.
D.J. Reader signed with the Bengals in the 2020 offseason and mentioned that it came down to the stripes and the Broncos. His reasoning for picking the good guys was essentially “Would you rather have Joe Burrow or Drew Lock as your quarterback?”
After getting injured in 2020, Reader bounced back in year two with the Bengals and totaled 43 tackles and 2.0 sacks through 15 starts.
B.J. Hill was added last summer in a trade with the Giants that sent Billy Price to New York for Hill. Cincy absolutely won that trade, as Hill was a huge difference-maker on defense, notching 50 tackles and 5.5 sacks through 16 games. He signed a three-year deal to stay in the Queen City this offseason and fans are thrilled to have him back.
Lastly, there’s Trey Hendrickson, who joined the team last year. People wondered if the team made a mistake dishing out so much money to a guy who had been a one-year wonder at that point. Hendrickson didn’t disappoint though, recording a career-high 14.0 sacks, setting the record for single-season sacks in Cincy.
This unit had a year to gel together and that should mean only good things once again for 2022.