5 Bengals players who will shock fans in 2023

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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With some new personnel joining the Cincinnati Bengals and some younger players stepping up into much more significant and extensive roles, Bengals fans could be shocked by which Bengals could truly set the scene this year and make their name heard.

Some key departures include Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell, Samaje Perine, Hayden Hurst, and Eli Apple (though he could still be re-signed). Cincinnati took most of their vital hits on the defensive side of the football. However, they've added some notable pieces and have the NFL Draft coming up on April 27th.

5. Irv Smith Jr

Irv Smith Jr, a former second-round pick by the Vikings, has had a similar career to Hayden Hurst to this point. Smith is still very young coming out of Alabama and just never found a true fit with the Minnesota Vikings and also battled injuries.

Irv Smith Jr is taking the Hurst approach and the Bengals seem like they don't mind the idea of bringing these tight ends who are in a "prove it" state of mind on one-year contracts. Hurst had the second-best season of his career while with the Bengals and earned a big contract as a result. Smith is hoping he can do the same leading him into a long-term contract next off-season.