Bengals RB Chase Brown could be a 'rookie gem' in 2023

Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) runs
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) runs / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals opted not to sign a running back in free agency and they ended up waiting until the fifth round to draft one. Chase Brown out of Illinois is who they added and he could end up being a sneaky good addition to this Bengals offense.

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report had Brown listed as one of his surprise rookie gems for the 2023 season. He begins by discussing how Brown looks to be a suitable replacement for Samaje Perine, who departed for the Broncos in the offseason.

Kay then touches on how Brown's competition for the RB2 job is Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans, neither of whom appear to be big threats. Williams was re-signed this offseason but he's never been anything more than a third-string option during his four years with the organization. As much as fans wanted Evans to be the next big thing, it hasn't happened yet and at this point, I don't think it will.

Chase Brown could be a star in 2023

"Given his explosiveness, size and ability to wear down defenses, Brown should feature heavily in Cincinnati's 2023 plans as a high-volume backup. If he fares well as a rookie, it would hardly be a shock to see the grinder step into a starting role as early as next season, a move that would allow the Bengals to part ways with Mixon and free up some much-needed cap space."

Alex Kay

Brown finished his final season with the Fighting Illini by posting 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground while also looking solid as a pass-catcher with 240 yards and three touchdowns through the air. If the Bengals can get that kind of production from him, the sky is the limit for this team.

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I wouldn't be shocked if Brown goes on to surpass Joe Mixon on the depth chart. I also wouldn't be surprised if he struggles a bit as a rookie. What do you think ends up happening with the Illinois product?