Bengals News

4 Cincinnati Bengals newcomers projected to be starters in 2022

From left: Offensive tackle La'el Collins (71), offensive guard Hakeem Adeniji, offensive tackle D'Ante Smith, offensive tackle Devin Cochran (77) and offensive guard Alex Cappa (66) walk to the next drill during practice, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields in Cincinnati.Cincinnati Bengals Practice May 17 0102
From left: Offensive tackle La'el Collins (71), offensive guard Hakeem Adeniji, offensive tackle D'Ante Smith, offensive tackle Devin Cochran (77) and offensive guard Alex Cappa (66) walk to the next drill during practice, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields in Cincinnati.Cincinnati Bengals Practice May 17 0102 /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Hayden Hurst (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Hayden Hurst

When the Bengals lost C.J. Uzomah in free agency, the next step was for them to find his replacement. Drew Sample isn’t a starting-caliber tight end and unless the team wanted to address the position in the draft, they’d have to find someone to sign.

Hayden Hurst was who they added, signing him to a one-year deal. Hurst has had a rollercoaster of a career since being drafted in the first round by Baltimore in 2018. He was overshadowed by Mark Andrews and soon was traded to Atlanta for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

After a career year in Atlanta in 2020, Hurst was again overshadowed by another tight end, as the Falcons took Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick in 2021. Pitts obviously got the majority of the targets last year and Hurst’s numbers suffered as a result.

Hurst is joining a Bengals team that doesn’t need its tight ends to be a major weapon due to the threats they have at wide receiver. Even still, don’t be surprised if Hurst puts up career-highs in his inaugural and potentially lone season as a Bengal.

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