Predicting 3 Bengals who will drastically improve in 2022
By Eli Zink
Here are three players from the Cincinnati Bengals who may experience a dramatic improvement in 2022.
3. Joseph Ossai
Coming off a season-ending injury in 2021, Joseph Ossai has been waiting for his chance on the field. Ossai posted a three-tackle, one-sack performance in the second preseason game proving he can live up to the potential that got him drafted by the Bengals just a year ago.
The Bengals had a very solid defense last season but their pass rush was near nonexistent when Trey Hendrickson wasn’t on the field. The Bengals seem very confident in Ossai’s ability as they didn’t draft an edge rusher in this year’s draft, taking interior lineman Zachary Carter instead.
Fans should expect a great speed rusher off the edge this year from Ossai. He was a dominant force in college and is looking to make a difference in the NFL when he suits up for his first regular-season game come Week 1. He may not be a consistent starter but he will certainly make an impact as a rotational player for now. With his elite athleticism and skill, he may end up in the starting lineup in the near future.
2. B.J. Hill
With the departure of Larry Ogunjobi, Hill projects to be one of the Bengals’ starting defensive tackles going into 2022. Unfortunately, Hill doesn’t play at a very flashy position, so his impact is often overlooked. Hill will have to show massive improvements to shine next to D.J. Reader, one of the best run-stuffing interior linemen in the NFL.
Fans should know how big of an impact he can make on the field as the Bengals made it a high priority to resign him this past offseason. Hill will now be one of the primary starters on defense, which will be an adjustment for him. Expect massive leaps in his numbers since he will play many more snaps this year.
Hill was already undervalued last season so expect nothing but maximum effort from the second-year tackle. Fans should remain enthusiastic about Hill as he will be around for three more years.
1. Chris Evans
Evans is a player who is stuck behind one of the best running backs in the NFL in Joe Mixon. However, this doesn’t mean he will not show improvements this year. He is set to be an impactful pass-catching back for the Bengals in 2022 while also getting a good number of carries.
Evans is the type of player that will make the most out of every opportunity he has on the field, which has been evident since his first day with the Bengals in 2021. Evans has been earning the trust of his teammates and coaches every day at practice. Evans’ best trait is his ability to get open and make plays as a dual-threat. He enters this year as the RB3 but fans shouldn’t be shocked if he comes and steals that No. 2 spot from Samaje Perine.
Based on what Evans has shown in preseason so far, he has given himself a good shot at moving up the depth chart in 2022.