4 Bengals UDFAs who can make a difference in 2022

Glenn Adams
Kwamie Lassiter II (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Kwamie Lassiter II (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Clarence Hicks (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Clarence Hicks

Last season at UTSA, Clarence Hick had 16.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. Those numbers are the best single-season totals among all current Bengals defenders heading into their rookie year. Hicks offers something most of the Bengals linebackers do not: a potential elite-level pass rushing ability from the linebacker position.

As a linebacker, Hicks will be asked to play some in coverage. He can and has, but that is not his forte and it may not have to be. The Bengals seem to be loading up on defenders who can get to the quarterback from different areas of the field. For now, Hicks may be the best option for creating pressure from the linebacker spot.

Of course, we may look at that differently if players like Wyatt Hubert or Joseph Ossai are listed as linebackers in the future. For now, however, they are classified as defensive ends, which opens the door for Hicks to bring something different to the linebacker’s room.

What about his versatility? Sometimes a player does not need to be versatile. If you can be elite at one thing, do that. If Hicks can be consistently a disruptive force in the offensive backfield and contribute on special teams, that should be enough to get him on the field in 2022.