4 Bengals rookies who could make an immediate impact

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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This offseason may end up being one of the most important of the Joe Burrow era. Coming off an objectively disappointing season based on what fans have come to expect after the past couple of years in which the team made back-to-back conference championships and even reached the Super Bowl. This past season they missed the playoffs entirely, and the team's struggles went beyond just their star quarterback getting injured.

While, yes, Burrow's injury of course played a major role in the season's letdown, heading into the offseason, there were a lot of questions that needed answers and a lot of holes in the roster to fill. With young studs approaching the end of their contracts and veterans beginning to show their age, the Bengals' prime opportunity to strike and finally bring Cincinnati a long-awaited Lombardi is now.

Bengals need some rookies to step up

While they did address a lot of needs in free agency with signings like Trent Brown, Geno Stone, and Mike Gesicki, the draft has left a lot of fans unsure and has been labeled by some as very 'boom or bust', especially in regards to their first-round selection Amarius Mims. While you certainly have to give rookies time to develop into solid players or, if you're lucky, bonafide stars, you would hope that at least a few members from the rookie class make somewhat of an impact in their first year.

Notable impactful rookies for the Bengals in recent memory include Ja'Marr Chase, Evan McPherson, Cam Taylor-Britt, Cordell Volson, and many members from the 2023 draft class. Myles Murphy, D.J. Turner, Jordan Battle, Chase Brown, and Andrei Iosivas all had at least one performance worth noting during their rookie campaigns, and you could certainly make arguments for a few of the others like Charlie Jones and Brad Robbins.

The point is, while rookies should be given time to grow and adjust, you'd want them to show something during their first season in the league, anything to build off of or hope for, especially for teams contending for titles.

Here are four rookies for the Bengals who will make an impact in their first year with the league.

Kris Jenkins - Defensive Tackle, Michigan

With D.J. Reader's departure and struggles with the interior defensive line creating pressure, the team needed to buff up the defensive tackle position. They addressed the ladder with the signing of former Texan Sheldon Rankins-- who sacked Burrow three times in their matchup-- and decided to use the draft to try to replace Reader, selecting Kris Jenkins and then Texas A&M alum McKinnley Jackson the next round.

While Jackson is closer to Reader's size, Jenkins is nothing to scoff at either (6'3, 305lbs), and will likely see more snaps than Jackson in 2024. Nicknamed the "Mutant" for his otherwordly athleticism, Jenkins serves as an interesting piece on the defensive line for Lou Anarumo to use and experiment with. After all, fans know by now how volatile the esteemed defensive coordinator can be with the defensive line, often having multiple sets of different personnel making up the front four/five.

Although Jenkins will likely not start, as B.J. Hill and Sheldon Rankins seem to have the nod as things stand at the moment, that doesn't mean he won't see the field. He will likely still see a significant portion of snaps since Anarumo is big on rotating players on the defensive line, especially in cases of injury.