On any NFL team, building up the lines is a major key to sustainable success. Unfortunately, the bets the Cincinnati Bengals placed on some former high picks on their offensive line have yet to pan out, but some veterans on the defensive line continue to produce.
Cast your vote on the Bengals’ Trench Player of the Year, be it on the offensive or defensive line, and sound off on your winner.
Offensive lineman Clint Boling: It was one of the worst seasons in recent memory for the Bengals’ offensive line, as both injuries and underachievement plagued the unit. However, the veteran mainstay of the group was a rock the offense needed.
Boling was steady at his usual left guard position, but then also kicked over to left tackle and played admirably there for the final two games of the season. Even when playing a position he hasn’t suited up for since his days at the University of Georgia, the team had some of its best offensive performances of the year in those final two contests—both wins.
Defensive tackle Geno Atkins: The Bengals’ defense struggled against the run this year, but it wasn’t due to No. 97. He was still a force in 2017 and earned his sixth Pro Bowl berth.
He led the team with nine sacks on the year, along with 46 total tackles. The team needs someone to step up in the interior of the line in 2018 to further aid his dominance.
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap: The veteran lineman got off to a slow start in 2017, as he only had one quarterback sack in the first seven weeks of the season. But, he not only caught fire towards the end of the year, but also had one of the biggest plays of the season.
Aside from the pick-six that helped to seal the win against the Colts, Dunlap ended the year with 7.5 sacks and a whopping seven passes defended. From Weeks 8 to 17, Dunlap notched 6.5 of those quarterback take downs.
Edge rusher Carl Lawson: The fourth round pick ended up being a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year, even though he was a rotational player on the Bengals’ defense. He was a force off of the edge and was a great supplemental piece in a different physical mold than that of the mammoth ends in Dunlap and Michael Johnson.
Lawson ended the season second on the team with 8.5 sacks and 16 total tackles. He’ll likely have a higher-profile role in 2018 and we’re excited to see what he’ll produce for the defense, if that’s the case.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ 2017 Trench Player of the Year?
This poll is closed
OL Clint Boling
DT Geno Atkins
DE Carlos Dunlap
DE/LB Carl Lawson