Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Hakeem Adeniji in 2023

The Bengals drafted Adeniji in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals guard Hakeem Adeniji (77) against the Los
Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals guard Hakeem Adeniji (77) against the Los / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the 180th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Hakeem Adeniji out of the University of Kansas. The Bengals probably weren't expecting Adeniji to play much for them but he was thrown to the wolves early on due to injuries to other players and ended up starting 15 games that year.

In year two, Adeniji was inserted into the action late to an injury he sustained over the summer. After playing left tackle as a rookie, he came in and played right guard in 2021 and the results weren't great, especially in the playoffs.

As we all know, the Bengals offensive line got pulverized in the Super Bowl and a lot of fans point to Adeniji as the weakest link of the group. The Bengals went out and signed a bunch of glass eaters for their o-line the next offseason.

Even with that being the case, Adeniji still saw the field in 2022. He appeared in 15 regular season games and started at right tackle after La'el Collins was injured. Adeniji got worked in the playoffs, posting a measly PFF grade of 43.6 and an abysmal pass-block grade of 29.8.

What should Bengals fans expect from Hakeem Adeniji in 2023?

Adeniji making the final roster isn't a guarantee but if he does, he'll serve in a backup or swing role. During his time in Cincinnati, he's played both tackle positions and right guard and the Bengals will likely value his versatility on the o-line.

The starting o-line will consist of Orlando Brown Jr. at left tackle, Cordell Volson at left guard, Ted Karras at center, Alex Cappa at right guard, and Jonah Williams at right tackle. If Brown gets injured, Williams probably shifts over to left tackle and La'el Collins, if healthy, would start at right tackle.

That means that Adeniji probably wouldn't play much unless both tackles get injured and last year showed that, unfortunately, that can happen.


Next. AFC North HCs Ranked. AFC North HCs Ranked. dark

Truthfully, it'd be nice if we didn't see much from Hakeem Adeniji this year because it'd mean that injuries took a toll on the offensive line again.