Over the last few years, the Bengals have done well in the draft and 2012 was no exception. The team's 2012 draft picks helped the Bengals reach the playoffs for the second consecutive year, something they hadn't done in 30 years.
Which of those 2012 draft picks are possibly poised for a breakout year?
Kirkpatrick, one of the team's first-round picks, spent the majority of the 2012 season on the sidelines dealing with injuries. First it was a knee injury suffered in the preseason, then a concussion and then he re-injured his knee, which put him on IR. The Bengals have a lot of depth at cornerback with the re-signing of Adam Jones and Terence Newman, but Kirkpatrick, who is expected to be back to 100 percent by training camp, will likely compete for a starting cornerback spot. He has the potential to have a big year to make up for missing the 2012 season.
Still fell to the Bengals in the second round of the 2012 draft, and due to the depth and talent on the Bengals' defensive line, he didn't get a ton of playing time. Still could be rotated in heavily on the line in 2013 and prove his worth as a run stopper and pass rusher.
Like Still, Thompson didn't get a ton of playing time because of the depth on the defensive line. However, now that Pat Sims is gone, Thompson is bound to get a little more playing time in the rotation. Both Thompson and Still have the potential to have big seasons.
Sanu was starting to have a big season before he was placed on IR with a season-ending injury. After he scored four touchdowns in three games, he was beginning to emerge as the team's No. 2 wide receiver. With a full season and with A.J. Green getting the majority of the attention from the secondary, Sanu could have a big year and even go as far as being a fantasy sleeper.
After Sanu went on IR, Jones stepped up. He didn't have as many touchdowns, but he showed he has the ability to be a deep threat and can help Andy Dalton move the ball down the field. He may not be Dalton's first option, or even his second, but when Jones is on the field in 2013, defenses better pay attention to him.
Charles is a talented pass catcher, but he's a small fish in a very large pond of talented tight ends. With Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert on the roster, Charles isn't likely to get a bunch of playing time at tight end. However, Charles has been taking some snaps at fullback at OTAs and could find quite a lot of playing time coming out of the backfield. It may be his best chance to make the team.