The Bengals are just days away from their season opener in Seattle against the Seahawks. With the initial 53-man roster set, we are beginning to see a picture of which players could potentially serve large roles this season.
Though it is hard to predict exactly how new head coach Zac Taylor will go about things, here are five players I think could surprise you in 2019:
Think we have seen everything Andy Dalton has to offer? Perhaps not. Though he is entering his 8th NFL season at 31 years old, Dalton could be in for one of his best seasons to date.
He hasn't been aided by injuries to A.J. Green or the offensive line. However, Dalton showed a lot of promise this offseason with new head coach Zac Taylor's playbook. If he can stay upright, he could be in for a surprisingly good season this year.
Could this be the year that former 1st round pick, John Ross, finally breaks out? The young wide receiver has been decimated by injuries and hasn't been very effective when called upon. He showed improvement last year, but still had a lot of work to do.
Now turning the corner on his health, Ross could have a breakout season with Zac Taylor leading the charge. Ross has immense upside, and a new-look offense could be enough to help him reach his potential.
With all of the offensive line woes this offseason, there was always one player who continued to stand in a positive light: Trey Hopkins. Hopkins was an undrafted player back in 2014 who stuck around Who has stuck around the Bengals upwards of four years now.
The rest of the offensive line may leave you dissatisfied this year, but don't be surprised if Hopkins rises above the rest.
Hubbard was a player I really liked coming out of Ohio State. He has an excellent combination of length and power and can win in multiple ways.
Though the Bengals will use a committee of pass rushers, Hubbard has the tools to help stand above the rest. He doesn't take plays off, and his work ethic could help him see an increase in snaps in 2019.
It's usually hard to get too excited about a former 5th round draft choice, but Darius Phillips has really come alive as of late. The former 2018 draft pick recorded an interception last week against the Colts and seems to be progressing quickly.