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View Full Version : Which Rookies Will Make An Impact for Cincinnati Bengals in 2014?



Bengals1181
06-14-2014, 09:00 AM
http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/files/2014/06/Bengals_rookies.jpg
The Cincinnati Bengals (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/teams/cincinnati-bengals/?utm_source=RantSports&utm_medium=NavBar&utm_term=CincinnatiBengals) have really done a nice job the last few years in the NFL (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/?utm_source=RantSports&utm_medium=Navbar&utm_term=NFL) Draft, adding a plethora of home grown stars that have made this team (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/#) a consistent threat to win the rugged AFC North year in and year out. Once again, the Bengals enjoyed a strong class in the 2014 NFL Draft (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014-nfl-draft-coverage-schedule-predictions-analysis/), adding a few guys who should make an impact this fall.

Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State (http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/teams/michigan-state-university/)), the teams (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/#) first round pick, joins a loaded defensive backfield featuring four other former first round cornerbacks. Despite that fact,Terence Newman and Adam Jones will be 36 and 31 this fall and both have clearly lost a step, Leon Hall is constantly battling injuries (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/#) and Dre Kirkpatrick is taking longer than expected developing. Dennard is as polished and pro ready of a defensive back as there was in this draft class, and his strong press cover skills should push him into a big role sooner rather than later.

Second rounder Jeremy Hill (RB, LSU (http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/teams/lsu/)) could replace BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the power back next to starter Gio Bernard this fall. Hill is surprisingly shifty for a 233-pounder and could eventually turn into a three down back down the road. Freshly promoted OC Hue Jackson is looking to implement more of a power run game (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/#) and Hill could be the guy to provide that punch.

Russell Bodine (C, UNC (http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/teams/university-of-north-carolina-acc-football/)), the teams fourth round pick will have every opportunity in camp to beat out out both Trevor Robinson and Mike Pollack for the starting center spot. Bodine is an absolute mauler with unbelievable strength who plays (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/#) with the kind of nastiness and grit you want in interior linemen. Plus, with his versatility, even if he doesn’t win​ (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/#)the starting center spot, I’d expect him to get rotational minutes backing up at both center and guard.

And no, it’s not just drafted guys who could make an impact this fall, but potentially an undrafted guy as well. FB Nikita Whitlock (Wake Forest (http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/teams/wake-forest-university/)) packs a load at 5-foot 10, 255-pounds, and is surprisingly nimble as evidenced by his 4.34 20-yard shuttle at his pro day. Fullback may be an endangered species in the modern [COLOR=#009900]football (http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/#) world, but Whitlock has the athleticism and competitive drive to carve out a lead blocking role for the Bengals tailbacks this fall.

Overall, the Bengals don’t have any glaring holes requiring a rookie to come in and produce right away, but considering the talent they’ve once again accrued this offseason, it’d be a surprise if the guys mentioned above don’t make some kind of impact toward the teams success in 2014.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig (https://twitter.com/rickstavig) or add him to your network on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+RickStavig).

http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/06/13/which-rookies-will-make-an-impact-for-cincinnati-bengals-in-2014/

Tigris
06-14-2014, 09:13 AM
As young and as talented as our team is, I really didn't think before the draft we'd have 3-4 possible guys who were going to play a lot this year. In terms of PT, I'll go...

1) Bodine
2) WV DE (already forgot his name)
3) Hill
4) Dennard

I wonder if Guenther is as rotation heavy as Zimmer was.

Tigris
06-14-2014, 09:26 AM
Not a rookie but...

http://www.stack.com/video/2288938245001/margus-hunt-benches-385-pounds-for-five-reps/

Kinda cool vid

Oldcat
06-14-2014, 02:12 PM
WV DE is Will Clarke. I remember it because of that guy on the SF Giants in the 80s.

dex
06-14-2014, 02:13 PM
Assuming good health I expect Clarke to be inactive most of his rookie season. Even with the three veteran CBs ahead of him and the former 1st round draft pick with two years of experience around, I still expect Dennard to be active every Sunday. Darrin Simmons has already been talking about Dennard on STs...I won't be surprised if Dennard and Kirkpatrick end up as the team's twin gunners. Since Hall/Newman won't be playing STs and AJones may only field an occasional punt, you will have to get a ton of special team unit play from the other two active corners.

On the offensive side, Bodine is the ultimate wild card. He could play more than anyone or not much at all. That will depend on how fast he develops and whether the coaches would rather have Pollak start at LG or center. I don't think that issue has been settled yet. As someone who doesn't expect Bernard to get many more offensive snaps in 2014 than in 2013 due to his size, I think Hill is really the only true sure thing among the draft picks for significant playing time. I still don't expect the team to pay BJGE all that money as the third-string RB when he wouldn't seem to offer any real special teams value at all. They have mentioned BJGE as a possible mentor for Hill, but it sounds like Bernard has already earned respect in the clubhouse as a young leader. I just don't think it's necessary to keep BJGE around for the entire season. However, I do agree with paying him a half a mil during training camp/preseason games as experienced injury insurance.

Bengals1181
06-14-2014, 03:09 PM
Welcome dex.

JBandJoeyV
06-14-2014, 03:45 PM
Bodine if he wins a starting job, if not then hill. Followed by dennard.

Bengals1181
06-14-2014, 03:56 PM
IMO Hill is obviously the likely choice.

I honestly think Bodine will end up being sort of a redshirt if they can. Not because they don't like him, but because they've got other guys who have more experience in the system.

Barring a setback I think Boling is the LG and Pollak the C to start the year.

Colin Lockett and Jeff Scott I think are darkhorses to make impacts as return men.

Clarke, McCarron, and Flowers I expect all to basically redshirt.

Dennard I think will play, but as has been discussed I think his biggest impact will be allowing Pacman to play more special teams.

Wright I think wins a gunner spot on special teams.

dex
06-14-2014, 06:13 PM
Wright I think wins a gunner spot on special teams.

I think the biggest obstacle Wright will have to being active on Sundays as the gunner is Tate. Most folks seems to think Wright and Hamilton might be in a dogfight for the 6th and final WR slot, but there's no way the Bengals will have all six active on game days. I don't think that has happened even once over the last several years, even on those occasions when they carried seven WRs on the roster. If Sanzanbacher is going to be active and taking snaps as the 4th receiver, then I don't think there is enough active slots for both Tate and Wright unless one of the top receivers is hurt. I can't see them paying Tate over a million to be the 6th(and inactive) WR, so I feel like Tate would have to be waived for Wright to be the gunner and play other ST roles on Sundays.

Bengals1181
06-14-2014, 06:18 PM
I think the biggest obstacle Wright will have to being active on Sundays as the gunner is Tate. Most folks seems to think Wright and Hamilton might be in a dogfight for the 6th and final WR slot, but there's no way the Bengals will have all six active on game days. I don't think that has happened even once over the last several years, even on those occasions when they carried seven WRs on the roster. If Sanzanbacher is going to be active and taking snaps as the 4th receiver, then I don't think there is enough active slots for both Tate and Wright unless one of the top receivers is hurt. I can't see them paying Tate over a million to be the 6th(and inactive) WR, so I feel like Tate would have to be waived for Wright to be the gunner and play other ST roles on Sundays.


its definitely going to be interesting to watch.

The biggest impact on the WR corp may be the RB corp and Safety corp.

If Jeff Scott and Daniel Manning take over PR and KR, respectively, it makes Tate expendable and opens up a spot for Wright or Hamilton. Hamilton has also returned kicks.

As for WR, I could see this:

Green
Jones
Sanu
Sanzenbacher
Hamilton
Wright

Tate and Lockett also could conceivably make the team. It's a very deep group.

RB could end up looking like this:

Gio
Hill
Burkhead
Scott

Manning's ability to return kicks could certainly have a big impact on how other spots shake out.

Oldcat
06-14-2014, 07:09 PM
I think the biggest obstacle Wright will have to being active on Sundays as the gunner is Tate. Most folks seems to think Wright and Hamilton might be in a dogfight for the 6th and final WR slot, but there's no way the Bengals will have all six active on game days. I don't think that has happened even once over the last several years, even on those occasions when they carried seven WRs on the roster. If Sanzanbacher is going to be active and taking snaps as the 4th receiver, then I don't think there is enough active slots for both Tate and Wright unless one of the top receivers is hurt. I can't see them paying Tate over a million to be the 6th(and inactive) WR, so I feel like Tate would have to be waived for Wright to be the gunner and play other ST roles on Sundays.

Sure, if Tate loses his primary return job he's going to be cut. While I am not as down on his WR skills as some, he's no threat to the top three or four so his ceiling there is fixed.

dex
06-15-2014, 06:36 AM
its definitely going to be interesting to watch.

The biggest impact on the WR corp may be the RB corp and Safety corp.

If Jeff Scott and Daniel Manning take over PR and KR, respectively, it makes Tate expendable and opens up a spot for Wright or Hamilton. Hamilton has also returned kicks.

As for WR, I could see this:

Green
Jones
Sanu
Sanzenbacher
Hamilton
Wright

Tate and Lockett also could conceivably make the team. It's a very deep group.

RB could end up looking like this:

Gio
Hill
Burkhead
Scott

Manning's ability to return kicks could certainly have a big impact on how other spots shake out.

I think there are more interesting roster battles on the offensive side than on the defensive side. In fact, after reading a couple of old articles featuring Darrin Simmons and special teams, I think the 25 guys(if healthy) for the defense is pretty much set. I was wondering about Sean Porter being safe but then I read that before suffering the season-ending injury, he was slated to play on all six special team units. As it was Shawn Williams played on five of the six ST units, and a host of others plays on four when they were healthy and their position group was healthy overall. For instance, when Maualuga got hurt in the middle of the season, they dialed VRey back on special teams duties since he was needed on defense as a full-time starter.

In one of the articles Simmons declared Peerman to be "essential." He only plays on four of the six ST units, but he has such critical roles on them. Peerman is basically the quarterback of the special teams. In addition to being the personal punt protector, he plays the most important position on the kick cover team as the rover that lines up next to Nugent. He also lines up in the middle of punt return and is the off returner in front of Tate when teams kick to the Bengals.

Other than a core group of ST vets, Simmons had so many rookies that he actually had Huber punting to the sideline more often than he otherwise would have. It was a strategy that worked well even though it cost Huber some valuable distance on occasion. In fact, it's when Huber suffered the devastating injury that coverage teams really suffered. Brown lit them up in the Steelers game and then the Vikings' Patterson did even more damage in the following game. I just think Simmons will want to keep his core vets in their current roles if possible.

mongo
06-15-2014, 07:04 AM
I think there are more interesting roster battles on the offensive side than on the defensive side. In fact, after reading a couple of old articles featuring Darrin Simmons and special teams, I think the 25 guys(if healthy) for the defense is pretty much set. I was wondering about Sean Porter being safe but then I read that before suffering the season-ending injury, he was slated to play on all six special team units. As it was Shawn Williams played on five of the six ST units, and a host of others plays on four when they were healthy and their position group was healthy overall. For instance, when Maualuga got hurt in the middle of the season, they dialed VRey back on special teams duties since he was needed on defense as a full-time starter.

In one of the articles Simmons declared Peerman to be "essential." He only plays on four of the six ST units, but he has such critical roles on them. Peerman is basically the quarterback of the special teams. In addition to being the personal punt protector, he plays the most important position on the kick cover team as the rover that lines up next to Nugent. He also lines up in the middle of punt return and is the off returner in front of Tate when teams kick to the Bengals.

Other than a core group of ST vets, Simmons had so many rookies that he actually had Huber punting to the sideline more often than he otherwise would have. It was a strategy that worked well even though it cost Huber some valuable distance on occasion. In fact, it's when Huber suffered the devastating injury that coverage teams really suffered. Brown lit them up in the Steelers game and then the Vikings' Patterson did even more damage in the following game. I just think Simmons will want to keep his core vets in their current roles if possible.

Maybe the thread needs to be renamed "which rookies will make the team in 2014." There just aren't a lot of spots open for new guys this year. I don't even think the practice squad is big enough for all of the guys I'm going to want here!

Zins30
06-15-2014, 07:45 AM
Agree with all points on Peerman. But if there was ever a time that we are trying to squeeze maximum Off/Def talent on the 53 so they don't get poached on the PS, this is certainly that time.

I think Tate and Peerman are potential casualties for guys like BJGE, Rex, Wilder, Scott, Hamilton, Porter, Flowers, Vic Hampton, Hewitt, Isaiah Lewis, Lockett, Nuetz or James Wright to take those last roster spots.

There's a crazy amount of talent and possibilities and I think we likely see one, if not both, of Tate and Peerman go. It'd definitely be a trade off of consistency and trust for potential and unknown, but I see us at a point where it's almost a necessity. We've got too many talented guys on the fringe to keep average but consistent players for those last spots, in my opinion.

Tigris
06-15-2014, 07:49 AM
P, PR, KO, KR, and XP/FG.

This may make me feel stupid when answered, but what ST play am I forgetting?

Bengals1181
06-15-2014, 08:25 AM
I think there are more interesting roster battles on the offensive side than on the defensive side. In fact, after reading a couple of old articles featuring Darrin Simmons and special teams, I think the 25 guys(if healthy) for the defense is pretty much set. I was wondering about Sean Porter being safe but then I read that before suffering the season-ending injury, he was slated to play on all six special team units. As it was Shawn Williams played on five of the six ST units, and a host of others plays on four when they were healthy and their position group was healthy overall. For instance, when Maualuga got hurt in the middle of the season, they dialed VRey back on special teams duties since he was needed on defense as a full-time starter.

In one of the articles Simmons declared Peerman to be "essential." He only plays on four of the six ST units, but he has such critical roles on them. Peerman is basically the quarterback of the special teams. In addition to being the personal punt protector, he plays the most important position on the kick cover team as the rover that lines up next to Nugent. He also lines up in the middle of punt return and is the off returner in front of Tate when teams kick to the Bengals.

Other than a core group of ST vets, Simmons had so many rookies that he actually had Huber punting to the sideline more often than he otherwise would have. It was a strategy that worked well even though it cost Huber some valuable distance on occasion. In fact, it's when Huber suffered the devastating injury that coverage teams really suffered. Brown lit them up in the Steelers game and then the Vikings' Patterson did even more damage in the following game. I just think Simmons will want to keep his core vets in their current roles if possible.


re: Peerman, they've also been grooming Burkhead to replace him.

dex
06-15-2014, 10:20 AM
P, PR, KO, KR, and XP/FG.

This may make me feel stupid when answered, but what ST play am I forgetting?

XP/FG defense.

So with six different units, you have 66 slots to fill altogether. Obviously your placekicker and punter only play on one of the six units, usually your long snapper plays only when the punter or PK is out there. On most teams about 30 different players will play at least one or two ST units on a regular basis, and the Bengals are no different. I think that there are about 14-15 players on the active roster on game days who, due to position or their importance on offense or defense, will not be a regular on any of the units. Doesn't mean that they won't occasionally return a kick, but they won't do it on a regular basis.

Dalton
Campbell
Green
MJones
Bernard
Hill
Bodine(long snapper will be Clark Harris)
Atkins
Burfict
Maualuga
Hall
Newman
AJones
Nelson

So any other players active on the 45 man game day roster will probably be needed to play special teams on a regular basis. Almost all of the 25(likely) defensive players will be active on game day because the strongest ST players are on that side of the ball. Probably two of the nine DL will be inactive on Sundays, probably Clarke and either Still or Thompson, and likely everyone else on defense will be active. So that means the other inactives will come on the offensive side. McCarron will obviously be one of them, probably two offensive lineman, one WR, one RB. Anyone else that's active will have to be a regular on STs. That's one reason why I don't see any room for BJGE, and seriously doubt there will be a true fullback on the 53 man roster. I also don't see any way they have room for both ASmith and Charles on the 53 man roster, as you have to figure that carrying McCarron will eliminate one of them.

Right now my prediction is:

3 QBs/9 OL/4 RBs/3 TEs/6 WRs

Hopefully they can sneak some promising young late draft picks and UDFAs onto the Practice Squad. Space is incredibly tight on the 53 man roster unless severe injuries create room, and obviously none of us here want that.

mongo
06-15-2014, 01:07 PM
I'm rooting a bit for one of the fullbacks to make the team. I just haven't seen enough out of Charles at TE or FB to still be excited by him.

Bengals1181
06-15-2014, 02:41 PM
I suspect Charles will end up the #3 TE where honestly he belongs. Very good receiver, even a decent blocking TE, but FB takes a mentality he never seemed to have.

Baraka
06-15-2014, 09:57 PM
I'm curious to see what kind of player Hewitt turns out to be. He was very good in college.

Bengals1181
06-16-2014, 09:31 PM
I'm curious to see what kind of player Hewitt turns out to be. He was very good in college.

I really like him, and IMO he's the favorite to win the FB job.

mongo
06-16-2014, 10:37 PM
I'm curious to see what kind of player Hewitt turns out to be. He was very good in college.

Is he the Stanford kid?

Bengals1181
06-17-2014, 07:07 AM
Is he the Stanford kid?

yea. He's a quasi FB/TE (though more FB, and has the mentality needed). He has exactly the experience they tried to use the TE's as last year in Cincy.

He already is what they hoped Charles would become. You can find a lot of action from him if you watch videos of recent Stanford RB's. He's #85. They used multiple FB's so he's not in on every play, but is on most.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-QHCpo3kiA