5 candidates who could lead the Bengals in sacks in 2023

  • Could Cam Sample have a breakout year?
  • Will Joseph Ossai get redemption for how his 2022 season ended?
  • Trey Hendrickson seems destined to be the Bengals' sacks leader once again.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
2 of 5

4. Myles Murphy

As much as we would like first-round pick Myles Murphy to have a Rookie of the Year type of season, the odds are against it. 

We should not count on Murphy contending for the team's sack lead in his rookie season. He was not a prolific pass rusher at Clemson. His forte is more in the mold of Sam Hubbard. This means he is a terrific run defender who can get pressure on opposing quarterbacks and occasionally bring them down for a sack.

We should not expect Murphy to reach double-digit sacks as a rookie, even though that might be what fans had in mind when the Bengals selected him with the 28th overall pick. Murphy finished his Clemson career with 18.5 sacks, 36 tackles for loss, and six forced fumbles in three years. 

Another factor working against Murphy will be playing time. He will be a part of a defensive end rotation that includes Joseph Ossai, Cam Sample, and two incumbent starters in Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard.

There are also veteran players like Raymond Johnson III and Tarell Basham, who look to make an impression in training camp and the preseason games. If one of them were to make the final 53-man roster, they could also have a leg up on the rookie. 

Hopefully, Murphy will develop into the sack specialist the team hopes and needs him to be. However, this season, we should not bargain on him finishing ahead of the top two sack leaders on this list.