Three Young Cincinnati Bengals to Watch in Preseason Workouts

Three Young Cincinnati Bengals to Watch in Preseason Workouts

Willie Lutz
2 years ago
3 min read
Bengals punter Drue Chrisman punts during NFL minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium

The air is getting balmy in Cincinnati just as the Bengals are returning for the early phases of their off-season workouts. Interestingly, the Bengals have pretty full attendance at these programs, which provides a lot more information for everyone to process. Only veterans Jessie Bates III and Trey Hendrickson remain away from the facility. 

Now, it’s not a time to make a bunch of assessments on veteran talents. Many of those players are just trying to stay sharp before mandatory portions of the off-season open. So, this period winds up being a chance for young talents and roster bubble talents to start making their impressions. 

1 - Scotty Washington, TE

Converting to tight end over the past year on the team’s practice squad, the Bengals are optimistic about the former wide receiver’s transition to the new position. Washington’s physical brand as a receiver made him a fit for the role, but the transition to blocking won’t come with ease. Further, Washington is a pretty gifted athlete and already added 30 pounds to his frame to beef up for the position. Bengals tight end coach James Casey said, “He's re-branded himself a tight end and we're going to work with him. He's a big fast, strong guy. There's a lot of nuance to playing tight end. Really, after the quarterback, the tight end has to know the most.”

Notably, the team let veteran tight end CJ Uzomah and signed Hayden Hurst to a one-year, $3.5 million deal in March. Washington will need to compete with other depth tight ends, including Thaddeus Moss, Mitchell Wilcox, and Drew Sample for snaps. However, his tremendous athletic ability make him quite appetizing as a potential fit.

2 - Cordell Volson, OG

The Bengals and offensive line issues. Heard that one before? While you’ll hear less of wide-spanning issues due to free-agent fixes, the left guard battle is certainly on in Cincinnati. Their fourth-round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, Cordell Volson, seems to be knocking on the door of getting starting snaps in that role. Volson’s mauling style in the run game has to appeal to Bengals line coach Frank Pollack. The team is looking for more consistency on a play-to-play basis in 2022, which is what Volson brought at North Dakota State during his college career. 

Still, he’ll have to move some incumbent competitors out of the way. Currently, second-year lineman Jackson Carman stands in the starting role. However, he lost the right guard job several times last year and spent all of Super Bowl LVI on the bench. Certainly, the Bengals would look better if their second-round pick in Carman wins. Still, the Bengals want whoever makes life the easiest for Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon. With Volson’s attitude and playstyle, he could make a serious push for the role. 

3 - Drue Chrisman, P

The times they are a-changin’ in Cincinnati, Ohio… or are they? Drue Chrisman is back for another run at Kevin Huber’s punting gig for the Bengals. Last year, Chrisman entered camp for a chance to end Huber’s 13-year run as Cincinnati’s punter, but injured himself in the process. With Huber’s leg lacking the juice that once made him a Pro Bowler, Chrisman could be an impressive preseason process away from a starting role in Cincinnati. 

Now, it does seem somewhat unlikely the Bengals will make the transition to Chrisman unless he can hold down the holder’s role. Cincinnati’s special teams coach, Darrin Simmons, is one of the most respected figures in his role in the league and has spoken about the importance of being able to be an excellent holder. In college, Chrisman’s alma mater Ohio State relied on their backup quarterbacks in that role. Chrisman now has to prove he can be the man for that role in short order.

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