As training camp approaches, the Cincinnati Bengals will start preparing for the preseason which begins in August. Cincinnati is not a team to run their starters at high volume, if at all during that three-game stretch.
The Bengals use that time to see what the rookies bring to the table and see who could compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. Here are five players to keep an eye on during the preseason who could make a splash.
5. Tycen Anderson
Tycen Anderson is now healthy and ready to roll and has an extensive training camp and preseason in hindsight. Anderson will have an opportunity to implement himself as one of the better safeties on this roster, which could lead to snaps come the regular season.
However, Anderson will have an uphill climb. Daxton Hill and Nick Scott are the expected starting safety tandem, but veteran Michael Thomas and rookie Jordan Battle will also compete for playing time on the defense.
This could be a prime chance for Anderson to prove why he should be kept around and utilized on Lou Anarumo's defense.
4. Jordan Battle
Jordan Battle, out of Alabama, was a very high-value pick for the Bengals in the third round, and some believe he could play himself into a starting role out of the gate over Nick Scott.
With that being said, this will still be a vital preseason for Battle to showcase that the game isn't too fast for him and that he can adjust to the NFL game style, which has its major differences compared to the collegiate game.
If Battle can do those things and becomes a playmaker for the Bengals' defense, then he very well could be starting at the start of the season or very shortly after.
3. DJ Turner
Second-round pick DJ Turner will have the chance to see some early season action as Chidobe Awuzie rehabs his knee and regain strength. Turner had one of the best QB ratings when targeted at Michigan, according to NFL Draft Buzz
Preseason will be the telling tale to see if Turner is ready or will start lower on the depth chart to start the season off. However, he should receive plenty of run during those three games to showcase his skills.
2. Charlie Jones
Charlie Jones has a serious opportunity to play himself into a WR4 role if he outperforms Trenton Irwin and preseason will be the first stepping stone for Jones.
At Purdue, Jones was one of the best wide receivers in college football. However, at Iowa, before he transferred, he never really found his groove with the Hawkeyes.
The upside is there for Jones. He provides speed for the special teams if they plan to utilize him that way. Nonetheless, he adds another threat to a Bengals offense that's already one of the best in the NFL.
1. Chase Brown
Chase Brown may have the most prominent opportunity out of this entire group. With Samaje Perine out the door and the Bengals not bringing any other new names in, Brown enters a running back room that is still up for grabs outside the number one spot.
The Bengals like to give Joe Mixon a complementary back. Like Giovani Bernard was, and Perine. Brown could very well be that guy.
The rookie out of Illinois will be competing with Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans throughout the offseason, and even if he doesn't overstep both of them, Chase Brown still will have a real chance to play his way into a role for the Cincinnati offense.