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Bengals1181
07-07-2014, 10:08 AM
Inspired by the first-time All-Star selections of Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and Johnny Cueto, I've decided to rank the three Bengals most likely to make their first Pro Bowl appearance this year.
The game, taking place at Super Bowl site Arizona this season, could include obvious Pro Bowl candidates like Geno Atkins and A.J. Green, but they don't count here since they've already been. As for the newbies, my list has to start with the man the Bengals offense will center around this year.

1) Giovani Bernard. Flashy will always grab votes. Whether from other players or fans, making plays that make the highlights goes a long way toward landing in Arizona. And as any fan can attest, Bernard provides no shortage of flash.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=245xofyLx5c
The bigger reason to believe Pro Bowl breakout could be on the way is his workload. With the team establishing a running identity that only means more carries for Bernard. Add in Hue Jackson flanking him out as a receiver in order to give him more touches in space and you could be looking at 1,600-plus yards from scrimmage.
Oftentimes backs with the heaviest workload end up making the Pro Bowl by virtue of their stats, so that will be a major piece of his puzzle. But Jackson sounds set on allowing Bernard plenty of chances to impress the judges.

2) Carlos Dunlap. Fans have been waiting for the Dunlap breakthrough year -- at least from a statistical standpoint. So has Dunlap. He's never been shy about wanting to be recognized among the best in the league and for him that means tripping the double-digit sack landmark. He had 9.5 his rookie season and tied for the team lead last year with 7.5.

Such is not to say his impact hasn't been felt. He's been a bit of a hard luck pass rusher seeing high numbers of pressures but many of the sacks going to others. Case in point his 2012 season where he only logged six sacks but his 60 combined hurries/QB hits rank in the top 5 in the league among 4-3 defensive ends. Toss in tying for the league lead with seven batted passes then ripping four forced fumbles and the disruption leaves him in an elite conversation.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBxWwmiKmSo


The Bengals are asking him to do more and move around up and down the line without Michael Johnson in the fold. If Dunlap can indeed deliver on his increased opportunity, the voters should take notice.


3) Leon Hall. It's more a shame and indictment on the process Hall could even be included on this list. He's been playing at a Pro Bowl level for years but been left off this list. All offseason contained discussion of his latest recovery from a Achilles injury, but all signs point to him returning to his old self once camp and the season begin.
Last year Hall was playing some of the best football of his career before he went down in Detroit. Nobody was owning slot receivers like him. Flip on the tape of Hall vs. Randall Cobb against Green Bay and that's all you need to know. Assuming he can stay healthy for a full season this feels like the year he finally receivers the recognition he rightly deserves. With the increased role of the slot receiver in offenses, his mastery of that area will only be highlighted more on top of his already elite technical skills on the edge.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Boq9EsuR6BM

Plus, the type of leader he's become and such a core piece of the locker room, his intangibles make him as worthy as any guy on the team.

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/blogs/2014/07/07/walkthrough-77-three-potential-first-time-pro-bowlers/12283587/

Bengals1181
07-07-2014, 10:10 AM
meant to add a poll. Feel free to chime in below.


Gio Bernard
Carlos Dunlap
Leon Hall

Also wanted to toss in:

Tyler Eifert
Marvin Jones

dex
07-07-2014, 08:20 PM
Agree that a guy like Leon Hall should already have made the Pro Bowl by now. But I think the Pro Bowl works sort of like the Gold Glove does in baseball. If you manage to break through as a young player, sometimes you can coast for years on past accomplishments and still somehow get rewarded. But the older you are without ever getting recognized, the less likely it is that it ever happens.

But in answer to the question, I think Dunlap is the most likely. As you pointed out, his actual production far exceeds his actual sack count. One of these seasons all those pressures are going to lead to a bunch of sacks. Hopefully this is the year it all comes together.

Bengals1181
07-07-2014, 08:43 PM
I don't put much stock in the Pro Bowl. I care more that a guy is Pro Bowl caliber than whether he actually was named to the team.

Just look at Johnathan Joseph. He made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2012 after he went to a bigger market team.

His 2009 season with the Bengals, blow both of those seasons away.


In fact, looking at the stats, that 2009 season remains his career high in tackles, interceptions, and passes defensed.

Bengals1181
07-07-2014, 08:44 PM
as to answer the "poll question", you gotta think Gio is going to put together a Pro Bowl caliber year.

dex
07-07-2014, 09:17 PM
Bernard should be an improved back in his second year, but I remained unconvinced that he's going to get more carries in 2014 than he did last season. First off, he was able to play in all regular season games at a position where injuries are always a significant concern. And even though he didn't start last season, he still ended the regular season with more total carries than BJGE. I think the coaches always worry about giving a smallish back too much work the way the Ravens did with Rice and Jacksonville did with Jones-Drew. It can take a toll both short term and long term. I do think Bernard could get more time in the slot playing a Hawkins type role, so maybe he ends up with more catches and receiving yards. And of course he could gain more yards per carry, which could bring up his rushing yards quite a bit. Maybe Bernard can break more long runs...he's certainly capable if he can find a crease.

Arkansas Bengal
07-07-2014, 09:20 PM
I won't be surprised if Denard ends up in the Pro Bowl this year.

Bengals1181
07-07-2014, 09:49 PM
Bernard should be an improved back in his second year, but I remained unconvinced that he's going to get more carries in 2014 than he did last season. First off, he was able to play in all regular season games at a position where injuries are always a significant concern. And even though he didn't start last season, he still ended the regular season with more total carries than BJGE. I think the coaches always worry about giving a smallish back too much work the way the Ravens did with Rice and Jacksonville did with Jones-Drew. It can take a toll both short term and long term. I do think Bernard could get more time in the slot playing a Hawkins type role, so maybe he ends up with more catches and receiving yards. And of course he could gain more yards per carry, which could bring up his rushing yards quite a bit. Maybe Bernard can break more long runs...he's certainly capable if he can find a crease.

I expect to see him get about 40 more carries on the season. Not a great amount, but an extra 2-3 a game.

coup000
07-08-2014, 09:36 AM
Really? That is extremely unlikely. Revis didn't even make the pro bowl his rookie year. I'm hoping for Gio and Dunalp, if that happens we probably had a great year.

(In response to dennard making the pro bowl)

Bengals1181
07-08-2014, 09:39 AM
I just don't know that Dennard will get enough playing time to even be considered this year.

membengal
07-08-2014, 11:36 AM
Give me Eifert. He breaks out with Hue emphasizing the TEs more.

Squirrlnutz
07-08-2014, 01:32 PM
Big Whit. He's healthy and I think we take such a large step forward that he finally gets the recognition he deserves. He may have been a 4th alternate or something in the past, but he is a starter this year.

Gio is practically a lock in my book. I think he benefits the most from going to Hue Jackson's scheme (plus adding Hill) and breaks twice as many long TDs from having effective game plans that keep the defense confused (can run all plays no matter who is in the backfield) without confusing ourselves.

Oldcat
07-08-2014, 06:07 PM
Big Whit. He's healthy and I think we take such a large step forward that he finally gets the recognition he deserves. He may have been a 4th alternate or something in the past, but he is a starter this year.

Gio is practically a lock in my book. I think he benefits the most from going to Hue Jackson's scheme (plus adding Hill) and breaks twice as many long TDs from having effective game plans that keep the defense confused (can run all plays no matter who is in the backfield) without confusing ourselves.

Only if Thomas busts a knee or something. On OL, once you get the name, you stick pretty much until retirement. And Thomas is a designated Brown pick, so they won't look at his real record too closely anyway.