1. Jaxson Kirkland
The best way for a player to surprise people is to be an undrafted rookie free agent on a talented team like Cincinnati’s and still make the roster. That is what offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland is looking to do.
To put it bluntly, Kirkland is better than many linemen who went off the board in the 2023 draft. Nevertheless, he went undrafted. Therefore, the perception around him will be different.
Long-snapper Cal Adomits is the only starter on the roster who was a UDFA. Joe Bachie, Jake Browning, Josh Tupou, Michael Thomas, Jalen Davis, and Trenton Irwin are former UDFAs on the second team at their respective positions. Kirkland is looking to join this list.
If the backup left guard spot comes down to Kirkland and former second-rounder Max Scharping, Bengals fans and Joe Burrow should expect and hope Kirkland wins that battle. The only question after that is, could the former Washington Husky push incumbent starter Cordell Volson to start?
Making this stacked Bengals roster as a rookie-free agent would be a surprise. Pushing for a starting role is even more difficult to conceive. Kirkland could do just that.
The arrival of newcomers brings hope, expectations, and surprises. Cincinnati has a group of talented players who could exceed expectations in 2023. These Bengals newcomers have the potential to amaze fans and help the team achieve its ultimate goals.
Let's keep an eye on these players and see if they can surpass our expectations and contribute to the Bengals' success.
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