We have already made the list of the top-ten breakout Bengals players for 2014. Now it's time to look at a few guys that could have an impact, but just couldn't crack into the list. Some of these depend on draft status, while others are unknowns looking to secure a spot at a position that is somewhat open.
Ryan Hewitt, FB/TE: This undrafted hybrid player could latch on to the final roster because of what seems as an opening at fullback, as well as the question marks surrounding Orson Charles at the back of the tight end group. If he shows the tenacity needed in a lead blocker and continues to flash his ability as a receiver as he did at Stanford, he could be a nice diamond in the rough. He has solid size at 6'4" and 255 pounds to make it in the NFL as a James Casey-type of player.
Will Clarke, DE: He wasn't the most popular third round pick in the eyes of fans, but the team needed to beef up their defensive end group early anyway. Even though he's going to be wearing No.93 and has good size (6"6", 270), don't expect similar play styles to his predecessor. He'll likely be a rotational player on the line, as that is what the Bengals like to do up front, but he can contribute against the run and the pass. He also might be a guy that they kick inside on passing downs and he could be particularly effective in that situation.
Cobi Hamilton, WR: Though I put Dane Sanzenbacher on the list, I went back-and-forth on whether it should have been Hamilton there. I ultimately went with Sanzenbacher because of a little bit of a void in the slot and potential openings in the return game. Hamilton could have an effect on kickoff returns, but he'll be behind two or three guys on the outside as a wide receiver. Regardless, the coaches love him and I expect him to be on the final 53-man roster in 2014 and contributing.
Dontay Moch, DE/LB: I can't figure this guy out. He shines in the preseason, but injuries and/or depth at positions he is attempting to latch on to push him off of the roster. Moch is now in his second stint with the Bengals and is attempting to make a name for himself as a niche pass-rusher. He brings a speed/athleticism skill set that the other defensive ends don't possess, but he'll need to pick up some points at the SAM linebacker position as well. If he has another stellar preseason and proves he can do some things at outside linebacker, then he'll be productive. Health is the true key.
Devon Still, DT: Love the measurables, but have loathed the lack of production. I still have high hopes for this guy and the team will need him to prove he can step in once in a while to spell Geno Atkins and/or Domata Peko, depending on the formation, without missing much of a beat. It's a big year for him, even if he becomes a valuable backup.
Brandon Thompson, DT: We can't mention Still without having his draft classmate and fellow defensive tackle in Thompson. The Bengals relied heavily on Thompson last year when Atkins went down for the year and Still missed considerable time, but he didn't really blow anyone's hair back. This is a guy who could be pegged to be Peko's replacement in the coming years and he will need to instill confidence with his play. We could see a bit of a breakout with him in his third season.
Colin Lockett, WR: We could look like geniuses with this one or it could be a total whiff. I see a lot of Quan Cosby in this guy, where he can contribute in the slot and as a return specialist. He did both pretty well at San Diego State and they are spots that need addressing in Training Camp.
Mohamed Sanu, WR: It's hard to put Sanu on a "breakout list" because he has actually contributed over his first two seasons, sometimes heavily. Unfortunately, it's kind of at the point if 30-40 catches and three touchdowns (what he's averaged the past two years) is his ceiling in the NFL. He did have 47 catches in 2013, which was a significant rise from his 16 as a rookie, but his touchdown receptions were cut in half from four in '12 to just two last season. With the plethora of talent at wideout, it's hard to see him getting much more than what he had last year. If he does, that would be a great season from him.
Isaiah Lewis, S: The Bengals have done well with a couple of undrafted free agents recently and Lewis could be the next in line. He has been impressive in offseason workouts and was a solid college player at Michigan State with Darqueze Dennard. The issue with him is that he has an uphill battle at a crowded position group. He might be a Practice Squad guy in 2014 then make a run at making the final roster in 2015.