A rookie class can be a mixed bag. Not just in terms of hits and misses, but also early-bloomers and late-bloomers.
Some great players can take a while to hit their stride and reach their potential, while others show what they're made of from day one. Most though, fall somewhere in between. Not necessarily great from the start, but still make an impact when they touch the field for the first time.
Here are four rookies from the 2023 Cincinnati Bengals draft class that will have an effect on the team from the get-go.
As of now, it seems to nearly be a guarantee that Joe Mixon will be in stripes for at least one more season. However, just because he will most likely be starting, doesn't mean fifth-round pick Chase Brown won't be able to make an impact on the field and get his fair share of opportunities.
As they did with Samaje Perine for the past couple of seasons, the offense will again most likely utilize the top two running backs on the depth chart. So long as the rookie beats out Chris Evans and Trayveon Williams, he will have that HB2 spot and-- considering he's a rookie whose ceiling is almost entirely unknown-- will potentially see even more playing time than Perine did as the coaching staff finds out what they have in Brown.
Not to mention, if Mixon struggles as he did in 2022 when he posted the lowest per-carry and per-game averages of his career since his rookie season, they could decide to expand Brown's role (assuming he impresses enough) and even take over the starting job.