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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Josh Newton - Cornerback, TCU

Another position that is at least somewhat open is the CB2 slot. Cam Taylor-Britt is the clear lockdown CB1 for the Bengals, and Mike Hilton will likely line up in the nickel as he usually does this year. However, with Chidobe Awuzie also heading off to Nashville, it isn't completely clear who will line up on the other side of Taylor-Britt.

D.J. Turner is probably the most likely choice to do so. The Bengals spent a 2nd-round pick on him in the 2023 draft, and he showed some promise during his rookie campaign, recording 7 passes defended, a fumble recovery, and a sack. However, that's not to say he didn't struggle. According to Pro Football Reference, Turner allowed 693 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a 111.6 passer rating when targeted. Those are pretty subpar numbers.

So, with that being said, there is some wiggle room for Texas Christian alum and 5th-round pick Josh Newton to come in and earn a starting job in Cincinnati. During his two years with TCU (he had spent his first three with the University of Lousiana-Monroe), Newton recorded four interceptions and 21 passes defended, as well as earning an 87.7 grade from PFF for those two seasons. Those are good numbers, and if he translates well to the NFL, fans could look back on Newton as a Day 3 gem the Bengals stumbled upon.

Of course, that's a big 'if' to begin with, however, Newton will likely get a fair shot to prove whether or not he should have gone higher. Even if D.J. Turner shows out in training camp, the secondary does get rotated very frequently, albeit not as much as the D-Line does. After D.J. Turner, Newton is only competing with D.J. Ivey and Dax Hill to be the first guy off the bench, and even then the ladder will most likely see the field at the nickel behind Mike Hilton.