It was a rough year for the team from the Queen City. So could the Cincinnati Bengals rebound in 2020 with the help of some emerging performers?
It’s been an uncharacteristic offseason for a team that usually relies on its draft choices and rarely spends a lot of time getting better via free agency. But perhaps the Cincinnati Bengals are tired of a current run that has seen them drop 23 of their last 27 games since opening 4-1 in 2018.
This past season, the team got off to the worst start in the franchise’s history by dropping its first 11 games. When it was all said and done, Zac Taylor’s first campaign as an NFL head coach produced a 2-14 record. And that’s why the club owns the first overall pick in this month’s draft. But what about the current players on the roster? Which five of these performers could step up in 2020 and help this team dig itself out of the AFC North basement?
5. G Billy Price
The offensive front of the Cincinnati Bengals has had been a sore spot for the past few years. In fact, it can be traced back to the 2017 offseason when left tackle Andrew Whitworth and right guard Kevin Zeitler opted for free agency.
Since then, the franchise’s front office has been trying to fill the voids. It used a first-round pick in 2018 on Ohio State center Billy Price and that same year, orchestrated a trade that brought former Bills’ tackle Cordy Glenn to the Twin Cities. In ’19, the club for former University of Oklahoma standout tackle Jonah Williams with the 11th overall selection.
Glenn proved to be a disappointment and was released this offseason. Williams missed his entire rookie and Price has made just 18 starts in two seasons and lost his starting center job to Trey Hopkins last summer. Injuries have played a factor in his lack of development but he did appear in all 16 games this past season and made eight starts at left (7) and right (1) guard. He figures to be in the mix for one of those spots this summer and off a healthy year, look for him to surprise a few people and perhaps start to look like a first-round pick.