It seems that the same usual Cincinnati Bengals get praise after every win (Joe Burrow, Ja'marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, etc.) While those guys are more than deserving of the praise, there are plenty of other players on this team that tend to fly a bit more under the radar. They don't always put up flashy stats like the guys mentioned above do, but they pull their weight on any given Sunday and are huge parts of this Bengals machine.
In this article, I'm going to give some of the more overlooked Bengals that are well due the credit they deserve for keeping this team afloat and in the playoff race. So if you haven't been paying close attention to these players, you better start after reading this.
After being selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Pratt has really come into his own the past couple of seasons, putting up his best career numbers last year en route to the Super Bowl. This year, he is well on his way to eclipsing that season as he has played great so far in 2022.
It feels like Pratt is all over the field making tackles and stopping plays before they can break off for big gains. Just look at their second game against the Steelers, he stopped two plays in the backfield and was second on the team in combined tackles with eight (rookie Cam Taylor-Britt led the Bengals' defense with 12). In my opinion -- which does hold a little bias to be fair -- Pratt is one of the most underrated linebackers in the league.
Even when you just take in the Cincinnati faithful, it doesn't feel like Pratt gets enough love, being overshadowed by Logan Wilson, who is another great addition from the amazing 2020 draft class. But I'm here to tell you right now, don't sleep on Pratt. He's quietly becoming one of the better linebackers in the league, as he's steadily improved in tackling (his missed tackle percentage has dropped to 6.8% this year after being over 8% every other year) and he's steadily getting better at coverage too, even if that's not his main role in this defense.
His contract expires this year, and I know the Bengals would definitely be better off giving him an extension-- that likely won't take too much out of cap space-- than trying to find someone else in free agency or the draft.