The Cincinnati Bengals have built the foundation of their team out of the NFL Draft, and it will be vital to continue that trend over the upcoming seasons with some valuable pieces hitting the open market and money becoming tighter than usual in Cincinnati.
The Bengals currently have many rookies who have been extremely impressive throughout the off-season, and with the NFL season less than a couple weeks away, we will see which players get their opportunity come Week 1. Here are three Bengals that are already looking like starters.
3. Jordan Battle
Jordan Battle is fighting for a position that is unpolished and unproven, which gives him a legitimate shot at competing for a starting position. Or at the very least see a lot of action for the Cincinnati Bengals defense.
Battle is a third-round pick out of the University of Alabama and was one of the more consistent secondary members in all of college football. In three seasons for the Crimson Tide, Battle posted 252 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions, and three touchdowns.
Jordan Battle brings leadership and a hard-nosed mentality to the Bengals secondary, which is needed in the AFC North. He also played in some very big games, which can make the transition to the NFL a little bit easier.
Ultimately, we will have to see if he can keep up with the speed of the professional level before judging if he can be an every-down safety. He had a rough night in the preseason finale but the flashes he showed in the preseason opener against the Packers starting offense should make Bengals fans excited for what the future has in store for Battle.
2. Brad Robbins
Brad Robbins seems to be the only option at punter for the Cincinnati Bengals now after we anticipated a competitive battle between Drue Chrisman and Robbins. Still, after Chrisman has been out with an injury, Robbins has been taking on the full role as the punter entering the season, which will lead him to be an instant Day 1 starter for the Bengals special teams.
Cincinnati selected Robbins out of Michigan in the sixth round, and when you spend a draft pick on a kicker or punter, the guy is usually one of the best in all of college football. Robbins showed that last season at Michigan with over 1,800 punting yards.
One of the most consistent and precise punters in the Power-5, Robbins is originally an Ohio product, so he will fit the mold, taking over the role of the longest-tenured Bengal, Kevin Huber, after Huber called it quits after 14 seasons as the Bengals punter. Robbins was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree, second in program history in punting average, and many other accolades. His career-long punt went for 66 yards.
1. Andrei Iosivas
Andrei Iosivas has been the most impressive piece so far throughout the Bengals training camp and preseason. Iosivas has shown off his overall size, speed, and ability to attack the football in the open field and make catches at all three levels.
Iosivas will have to continue to work his way up the depth chart, but it isn't crazy to think that he has already planted himself at the very least as a WR5 behind Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Trenton Irwin.
Iosivas and Charlie Jones could pose as some critical future pieces at the WR position, which is why seeing production now is very promising. In three preseason games, Iosivas managed to have 12 receptions, 129 yards, and a touchdown. He led the Bengals in receiving in two out of the three games.
It will be interesting to see how the Bengals choose to utilize Iosivas with his size and ability to make contested catches. He could find himself being a threat in red zone scenarios.