3 breakout candidates for Bengals in 2023 season

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Joseph Ossai

In recent seasons, the Bengals have made an effort to build their defensive front around veteran players. This includes the pass rush duo of Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson. This pair has become one of the NFL's more underrated edge groups in their limited time together.

In addition, the Bengals used their 2023 first-round pick on Clemson's Myles Murphy. With his arrival, the group has gained another young player full of talent. If all goes to plan, this core could also see the 2021 third-round pick Joseph Ossai emerge.

After missing his entire rookie season with a knee injury, Ossai took the field in 2022 ready to make an impact. While working behind Hendrickson and Hubbard, he still made his presence felt. Over 16 regular season games, he recorded 17 total tackles, two tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, and 3.5 sacks.

Ossai also made an impact in the playoffs. Over the Bengals' three postseason games, he recorded six total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, three quarterback hits, and two defended passes.


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With the arrival of Murphy, and the return of Ossai, the Bengals have put together an edge group that will test opposing offensive lines on each play. If all goes to plan, this young group could quickly become the future of this unit. If Ossai can take another step in 2023, he could be the breakout star of this team.