Why there should be ample optimism for Bengals heading into 2024 NFL season

There are lots of reasons to look forward to Bengals football.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

In terms of the offseason, Cincinnati has been having a great one. There have been so many exciting things happening in Cincinnati lately that should make fans optimistic for this coming 2024 season.

For starters, the 2024 NFL Draft has come and gone, a time of fresh faces, fresh talent, and opportunity. The Bengals used their picks well, and that fresh talent will aid and boost the Bengals' offense and defense, and complement Joe Burrow and the Bengals well. Not to mention, Burrow is getting healthier and stronger, and Ja'Marr Chase just recently had his fifth-year option picked up.

Between a healthy Burrow, the continued development of Chase, and smart draft picks, here's why there should be ample optimism for the Bengals.

Joe Burrow's Improving Health

Every video fans see of Joe Burrow throwing again has given them optimism, and not a moment too soon, since the AFC North has gotten even more competitive. While his 2023 season was cut short, Burrow finished out the campaign with 15 touchdowns and 2,309 passing yards, and he still made some impressive plays. Like in Week 10 against the Houston Texans, Burrow completed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Trenton Irwin on a third-and-seven in the first quarter, making the score 7-0.

This offseason has been a good one for Burrow though, who seems to be back healthy and strong after the wrist injury. Burrow has been back throwing, and he himself has talked about his improving health, and how he's pleased with the progress, which is incredible news for fans.

A healthy Burrow means Cincinnati is back and better than ever.

Ja'Marr Chase's option picked up

It's no secret that Ja'Marr Chase is extremely talented, and fans breathed a sigh of relief when the Bengals picked up his fifth-year option, which keeps Chase in Cincinnati for another year, at least. This was welcome news, because with Burrow back healthy, it will be nice to see these two connect on the field again.

Even in Burrow's absence, backup quarterback Jake Browning was able to connect with Chase and still make explosive plays, and yes, I'm referring to the pass from Browning to Chase that resulted in a 76-yard touchdown in Week 13. Chase finished out 2023 with 100 catches, 1,216 yards, and seven touchdowns, which is impressive.

Smart Early Draft Picks

As mentioned earlier, fresh talent will aid and boost the team. So, here's a look at three smart, early picks.

Round 1: Pick 18 - Amarius Mims (OT)

This was a smart move, due to the departure of OT Jonah Williams. Burrow gets sacked a lot, so hopefully this addition will help protect Burrow and give him as much time in the pocket as possible. Also, he will pair well with Orlando Brown Jr. (LT). Despite just eight career starts in college, Mims didn't allow a single sack throughout his 372 pass-blocking career snaps. That's impressive.

Round 2: Pick 49 - Kris Jenkins (DT)

This was a solid pick, due to D.J. Reader's departure to the Detroit Lions. Reader was a solid asset, whose absence will be felt, but this promising pick helps, as Jenkins can potentially turn into a solid asset over time as well. In 2023, Jenkins had 37 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one interception.

Round 3: Pick 80 - Jermaine Burton (WR)

Burton's college numbers were great, and he seems to be extremely talented. Burrow can always use another playmaker, and that's what this pick seems to be. In 2023, Burton had 39 catches, 798 yards, and eight touchdowns for Alabama.

There's still quite a bit of time until the season officially kicks off, but all in all, Bengals fans have lots to be excited about this coming season.