With summer in full swing and NFL training grounds less than two months away, we brought together our Cincy Jungle staff to rank in the top 25 Bengals of the 2020 season.
This ranking is simply who we think are the top 25 Bengals in the upcoming season. It includes veterans and rookies alike, though it’s obviously more favorable for players who have actually played snapshots in the NFL, so don’t expect players like Joe Burrow being one of the top five players from the start.
For a summary of the list, watch our broadcast here.
2019 was not the rookie campaign that head coach Zac Taylor expected and the team’s defense game was particularly troubling.
That unit, however, was not without talent. And facing this season, he is objectively in better shape.
So far, we’ve revealed the top 10 players in our ranking, and six of the 10 are members of the defense. Three of the six play in high school, where the next Bengal on our list also makes money.
No. 15: Shawn williams, safety
Despite impressive production in the past four years as an observer, Williams has the argument that he is the most underrated player in the entire team. Williams has added 224 tackles in the past two seasons. He only had one interception in 2019, but he dragged five of them in 2018 and has 12 over the course of his career.
After a terrific 2018 season, Williams was forced to play a bit out of position in 2019. He was frequently lined up in the box in a true linebacker lineup.
It was clear that he was never really comfortable in this role. Fortunately, the Bengals were able to sign free agent Vonn Bell’s safety. Bell is a great compliment to Williams; as he is the best in the box. This, along with the addition of linebackers Josh Bynes, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither and Markus Bailey will free Williams to return to his most natural position in 2020.
Williams is a very talented player who can do a lot for this defense. Taking him out of the box and allowing him to play more on the deep field and on the planes should help him rise as a defensive player for the Bengals in 2020.