Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Hakeem Adeniji in 2022

Hakeem Adeniji, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Hakeem Adeniji, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Hakeem Adeniji is returning for year three on the Cincinnati Bengals roster. What should fans expect from the former Kansas product as he enters the third year of his pro career?

In the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Hakeem Adeniji out of Kansas. It was a move that made sense given how badly the team needed to address the depth situation on the offensive line.

Adeniji had experience at both left and right tackle during his time with the Jayhawks and that made him an appealing prospect leading up to the 2020 draft. While the team was probably hoping that Adeniji would be more of a project, he was thrust into action as a rookie when Jonah Williams missed time due to injury.

All in all, Adeniji played in 15 total games during his rookie year in 2020, appearing in 23% of the offensive snaps.

After showing some potential as a rookie, it was a bummer when Adeniji suffered an injury last summer that sidelined him for the first half of the season. As soon as he was healthy enough to return, however, he was immediately inserted into the lineup, replacing Jackson Carman at right guard, which is where the Kansas product remained for the rest of the season.

Adeniji appeared in 91% of the offensive snaps in 2021 and it was a little frustrating that despite his struggles, he was still left to man the right guard spot. Sometimes he and Carman would rotate but it was usually Adeniji getting the nod there.

Bengals Roster: What should fans expect from Hakeem Adeniji in 2022?

Despite the team spending five of their six draft picks on defensive players, Adeniji’s roster spot for the 2022 season could still be in jeopardy, though it does seem unlikely at this point given his experience. Cordell Volson, the team’s fourth-round pick out of North Dakota State, is someone who could challenge Adeniji for the main reserve role on the team.

As of now, Adeniji would likely be the first guy inserted into the o-line if someone were to get injured. He’s projected to be the backup for Jonah Williams but if anyone other than Ted Karras were to go down, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Adeniji be the first man up to fill in for whoever had to miss time.

A realistic expectation for Hakeem Adeniji entering the 2022 season is that he’ll be a reserve to start the year but if injuries start to pile up (hopefully they don’t), he’d be inserted into the starting lineup due to the experience he has with this team and this offensive line.

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What expectation do you have for Hakeem Adeniji in 2022?