4 way-too-early bold predictions for Bengals in 2023 regular season

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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A DPOY contender emerges

In 1971, the National Football League introduced the Defensive Player of the Year award, with its first recipient being DT Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings. And in the years since, there hasn't been a single Bengal player that has won DPOY. Not even arguably the best defensive player in franchise history in Ken Riley, who had been around since the award was introduced, starting his professional career in 1970.

This entry sort of plays into the last one, as if you finish as a finalist for DPOY you've probably made at least the All-Pro second team. Any one of the four I mentioned above I think can at least contend for the award, and you can throw Hubbard in there as well.

After losing what was easily the best safety duo this team had seen in recent years and with their star cornerback still reeling from his ACL tear, this front seven is no doubt going to have to step up, and I think the efforts from at least one of them will put them in the DPOY race.

This is very bold-- and maybe my memory's just blanking-- because I can't remember the last time a Bengal finished as a finalist for DPOY, however, I believe it will happen this year, and it'll be someone in that front seven.