Whether through free agency or the draft, there is not much that brings excitement to fanbases more than newly acquired players. With these newcomers arrives hope, expectations, and surprises we didn’t see coming.
The Cincinnati Bengals have five newcomers who could rise above expectations to surprise fans and the NFL world.
5. D.J. Turner
The Bengals have an excellent secondary, potentially the best in the league. Last year, Cincinnati allowed a league-low 58.9% completion percentage, according to NFL.com. They know what to look for in cornerbacks. Cam Taylor-Britt proved to be an excellent second-round pickup last year, and now D.J. Turner seems poised to follow in his footsteps.
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and defensive backs coach Charles Burks quickly got Taylor-Britt up to speed. Expect the same for Turner because he may not have a choice.
Turner may get thrown into the proverbial fire quickly. It is not sure that Chide Awuzie will be 100% healthy at the start of the season. Last year’s other starting cornerback, Eli Apple, remains a free agent. Turner may get the full-immersion experience when learning how to play cornerback in the NFL.
The former Wolverine should be able to pass the test however. In college, Turner’s passer rating when targeted was an impressive 62.1. For context, Turner’s rating is on par with first-rounders Emmanuel Forbes (61.9), Deonte Banks (71.3), and Christian Gonzalez (79.3).
Furthermore, despite being the last of seven corners taken in the second round, Turner’s rating when targeted was better than all of them except for Cam Smith’s 61.0.
As a second-round pick, the surprise isn’t that Turner has a chance to be good, but rather just how excellent he can be. With his athleticism, experience, and great coaching behind him, Turner has a good chance of having people wonder why he was not selected in the first round.