Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (29) celebrates after intercepting a pass to seal a Bengals victory in the fourth quarter of the NFL divisional playoff football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, Sunday, January 22, 2023, at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY The Bengals won 27-10 to advance to the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills Afc Divisional Jan 22, 227 The Enquirer Syndication
The Cincinnati Bengals, the defending AFC North champions, begin training camp next week on the grounds adjacent to Paycor Stadium. They will look to build another successful season after coming painfully close to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. Despite the Bengals coming up a bit short, several rookies led by Cordell Volson, Dax Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt saw significant playing time to catapult them into a second playoff spot with the Kansas City Chiefs. Let’s take a sophomore stock watch from last year novice class.
Cincinnati Bengals 2023 Sophomore Stock Watch
Dax Hill (buy/sell/hold)
Hill had a productive 2022 season, where his opportunities gradually increased. The former Michigan standout had a solid postseason for the Bengals, playing in 15 games as slot cornerback and special teams gunner. Hill’s stock should rise as he was the youngest player on the team in 2022 at age 21. Hill is a player on the rise and should start in 2023. Look to Cincinnati to use his speed as an effective passing blitzer.
Cam Taylor-Britt (Buy/Sell/Hold)
Taylor-Britt began 2022 on the PUP roster with an abdominal injury. The Bengals then placed him in the lineup where he would eventually be modeled after his draft partner Hill, playing more as the season progressed. Although Taylor-Britt started off slow, he would ultimately redeem himself as one of the Bengals’ best postseason defenders as a Pro Football Focus. rated it the best player in coverage during the AFC division victory in Buffalo and the conference championship game loss in Kansas City. Cincinnati will have a revamped secondary in 2023 with the departures of Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. Taylor-Britt will get plenty of opportunities at starting corner and possibly see playing time at one of the safety spots.
Zach Carter (Buy/Sell/Hold)
Carter played in 16 games (including one start) as rotating defensive tackle for coordinator Lou Anarumo. The results were mixed, and the learning curve seemed steep at times. The Bengals insisted on having Carter constantly on the field. We still keep this stock, as this season is crucial to Carter’s development. The Bengals are counting on him to go forward adding strength and agility to rush the passer from inside the line.
Cordell Volson (Buy/Sell/Hold)
The shining star in the Bengals’ 2022 draft class came in the fourth round in the form of left guard Cordell Volson. The North Dakota State product started in 16 games for Cincinnati and immediately turned heads after the OTA and training camp in 2022. Volson was then forced to help protect Joe Burrow and improve the running game for Cincinnati. the previous season. The switch from below center runs to shotgun runs played right into Volson’s wheelhouse being a road leveler to crowd defenders with the benefit of extra time off the gun. Volson should get better at pass protection with another season to refine his technique.
Tycen Anderson (Buy/Sell/Hold)
Anderson was drafted at safety out of the University of Toledo and missed his entire rookie season with a hamstring injury. The Bengals praised Anderson’s speed and coverage ability as he ran a 4.36-second official 40-yard draft rush at the 2022 NFL Combine. Even with the deck stacked against him, you can never have enough quality defensive backs in your list. For this reason, keep your Anderson stock for one more season.
Jeff Gunter (Buy/Sell/Hold)
The battle will be fierce for Gunter at the training camp to make the team. This isn’t new for Gunter, as he battled injury last preseason and still made the opening day roster playing in 10 games with 37 defensive snaps and 78 special teams snaps. Cincinnati is likely to use Gunter as a rotation piece in EDGE in training camp to see if he has enough juice to stick around. Like Anderson, hold your stock right now.
Feature photo: Sam Greene – The Enquirer – USA TODAY NETWORK