Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Akeem Davis-Gaither in 2022

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither - Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither - Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Akeem Davis-Gaither is entering his third year on the Cincinnati Bengals roster. What should fans of the stripes expect from the former fourth-round pick? 

After hearing his name called by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Appalachian State product Akeem Davis-Gaither played in all 16 games as a rookie. The team was trying to get the linebacker position turned around after a lackluster year and Davis-Gaither wasn’t the only new linebacker joining the team. Logan Wilson was selected in the round before him.

During his rookie season in 2020, Davis-Gaither appeared in every game and helped out on special teams. His snap counts by the end of the season were 64% on special teams vs. 30% on defense. He had 31 tackles, three defended passes, two QB hits, and 0.5 sacks as a rookie.

Unfortunately, Davis-Gaither was injured in 2021 and appeared in just nine games. Even with fewer appearances, he had a few less tackles than the year before and was more active on defense, as indicated by his 33% defensive snap count. He was present for 61% of the special teams snaps that year.

Bengals Roster: What should fans expect from Akeem Davis-Gaither?

The Appalachian State product finished his 2021 season with a PFF grade of 60.2, which is decent. He was making improvements in his sophomore season and it was a bummer to see the injury take him out for a chunk of the season.

Realistically, Davis-Gaither will continue to serve as a backup linebacker behind Logan Wilson while he also helps out on special teams. His improvements from a season ago show that he can make a positive impact on defense. He’ll certainly make the 53-man roster and should continue to serve in the same role he has been in the past few years.

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What expectations do you have for Akeem Davis-Gaither this year?