Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: 5 Bengals who could be sleeper contributors in 2018

  1. #1

    5 Bengals who could be sleeper contributors in 2018

    5 Bengals who could be sleeper contributors in 2018


    While the 2018 draft class has yet to be determined, there are some veterans on the current roster who could end up being bigger contributors than we expect this year.

    By Anthony Cosenza@CJAnthonyCUI Apr 17, 2018, 7:00am EDT

    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsThe Cincinnati Bengals are in a very interesting situation heading into the 2018 season. At many positions, the team is both young and deep, but other critical ones are needing a new influx of talent this offseason.

    With a more aggressive approach in free agency, the spots they will be looking to address in the NFL Draft are becoming more and more apparent. However, there are some fringe players and veterans looking to latch onto significant roles, in one form or another, and they could find a productive niche.

    Here are five players to keep an eye on for possible contributions, despite preconceived notions and what has yet to transpire in the draft.

    Josh Malone
    , wide receiver: Despite some disparity given from recent Pro Football Focus WAR scores from Malone in his rookie year, there is
    promise. He’s the very definition of a “height/weight/speed guy” and flashed a little bit as a rookie with a 25-yard touchdown catch in 2017.

    However, despite all of the promise, Malone is pegged to be the fourth or fifth receiver in 2018 behind A.J. Green, John Ross and Brandon LaFell
    and that’s not even counting the possibility of the team adding another weapon in this year’s draft class.

    Throw in Giovani Bernard, Joe Mixon and Tyler Eifert as additional weapons, and we can see how Malone could easily get lost in the shuffle. Heck,
    even return man Alex Erickson had as many touchdown grabs as Malone last year.

    Still, there are a few things pointing to Malone being a contributor in the 2018 Bengals offense. Bill Lazor is in his second year as the team’s offensive
    coordinator and he is looking to rekindle the offensive explosiveness of the 2005 and 2015 squads. Cincinnati is also looking to distribute the ball
    more and are in the midst of a revamping of the offensive line.

    At 6’3”, Malone could become an interesting red zone option for Andy Dalton at the very least.

    Mason Schreck, tight end: Another guy who is down the totem pole in his p
    osition on offense and is entering his second season could end up making an impact. On special teams, Schreck could be a contributor in a variety of

    If we’re talking on offense though, it’s more of an issue of opportunity. While everyone hopes Eifert is the guy who reverts back to 2015 form, both he
    and C.J. Uzomah have had their share of injuries in their respective careers.

    Should those injury issues arise again in 2018 and Schreck avoids the ones who hit him last year, he could be a necessary commodity on offense.
    And, if those lauded pass-catching skills that brought him to Cincinnati last year hold up, he could be a valued security blanket for Dalton.


    Bengals 2018 preseason schedule is here!

    Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft gives the Bengals an OT and 3 questionable playmakers

    Christian Westerman
    , offensive lineman: What the Bengals’ starters will look like on the offensive line from right tackle to center this year is anybody’s
    guess. The prevailing belief is that the team is going to take a small handful of linemen in this year’s draft to remedy the issues that have plagued
    them over the past couple of seasons.

    When Cincinnati selected Westerman in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, many believed he was a second-round talent in whom the Bengals got a
    steal. There was also talk of Westerman being able to play both guard and center, if needed.

    With both the center and right guard spots open this year, there is a possibility that the team looks in-house for replacements. When injuries hit at the
    end of the year, replacements like Westerman and Alex Redmond came in and the offense performed at a higher level.

    Could the Bengals look at different areas in the draft and have confidence in a guy like Westerman to anchor one of the open spots on the line?

    Bobby Hart
    , offensive tackle: Before the Bengals made a splash trade for Cordy Glenn, they added Hart, who fizzled out with the Giants. Common
    sense tells us that he’s a fringe roster guy who will have to grind for a spot, based on some of his tape and New York letting him walk.

    Still, for some of the same reasons mentioned above and for Hart’s massive physical profile (6’5”, 336 pounds), he fits the Bengals’ mold. With his 21
    starts over the past three years, he might be a short-term band-aid, especially if the team decides to address the interior of the line in the draft.

    He’ll probably be in a fight at right tackle with Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher, but given the issues from those two former high picks, he could climb
    into the starting picture or in “jumbo packages”.

    Brandon Wilson
    , safety: Last year, the Bengals made one of those oh-so-rare moves up in the draft for the versatile University of Houston defender.
    He essentially had zero impact, racking up just five tackles after being inactive and/or on the practice squad for most of the season.

    Still, the reason the Bengals liked Wilson coming out of college was his immense versatility. After all, this is a guy who scored touchdowns four
    different ways (fumble recovery, interception, kickoff return and rushing) while with the Cougars.

    Wilson’s immediate path to contributing looks to be in filling the immense shoes left by Cedric Peerman on special teams. It doesn’t appear that
    Peerman will be back, so Wilson may be one of the team’s gunners. There is also a little bit of unsettlement in the return game, as Erickson had a
    pedestrian season and Adam Jones not currently being with the club.

    It’s highly unlikely that the Bengals will use Wilson on offense, but he may be useful as a utility player on defense. It seems as if Teryl Austin wants to
    use more three safety looks this year and if they don’t end up grabbing a new one, Wilson could be in the mix for that role in 2018.

  2. #2
    Really? Gil and Joe “sleepers”? Really????

    Tyler I can see, but wow.

  3. #3
    It's not listing Gio, Joe and Tyler as sleepers's saying that with them on the roster, it might be hard to see how Malone will get touches. The full list of sleepers is Malone, Schreck, Westerman, Hart and Wilson.

  4. #4
    Immediately after last years draft I called Carl Lawson my favorite pick. Josh Malone was next and in the months that followed I bristled every time I read about the plan to sit him his entire rookie season. I thought he was too good for that to make sense, and a year later I still do. The Bengals need to start trimming Brandon LaFell's reps and IMO Malone is the player who should benefit most. And not just in the red zone as the article suggests. Malone may be 4th on the depth chart but IMO is good enough to have a regular "between the 20s" role in the offense.

    Schreck? I think any talk of him being a sleeper is total speculation, based almost entirely on the health of better players. Unlike with Malone, if Schreck has a role to play this season it likely means something has gone very wrong.

    I pimped Westerman before he was drafted and I've defended him when others pointed out how he hadn't received playing time despite playing on a miserable O-line. So yeah, call him a sleeper if you must but I'm not discounting his chances of earning real playing time this season, if not a starting job, if the Bengals somehow resist the temptation to draft a half dozen new centers and guards in the coming draft.

    Bobby Hart? I can't help remind myself how much the Giants once thought of Hart before last years implosion. With two jobs seemingly open on the right side it's not hard to imagine Hart stepping in and quietly grabbing one as he attempts to rehab his career.

    In his first snap in the NFL Brandon Wilson downed a punt inside the opponents 1 yard line....flashing the skills needed to earn the gunner role mentioned above. He's capable of doing more, but I don't think he'll get the chance....even with Peerman finally out of the picture.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Montecore View Post
    It's not listing Gio, Joe and Tyler as sleepers's saying that with them on the roster, it might be hard to see how Malone will get touches.
    Shouldn't be a problem unless they continue to predetermine who gets the ball before the snap. I'm hoping the new look offense will be built around throwing to the receiver, regardless of who it might be, who gets single coverage. This offense needs to find better balance and IMO that starts with no longer forcing the ball to AJ Green.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts