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Bengals Bytes (6/3): Late round pick who could have the biggest impact next season

Which late pick could end up having the biggest impact in their rookie season?

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NCAA Football: Toledo at Western Michigan Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals have slim playoff hopes in ESPN’s FPI rankings and odds
ESPN doesn’t care much for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018. Bengals fans won’t be shocked to hear the news, as the Bengals tend to fly under the radar nationally — if not thrive on it, too.

Bengals hoping for even more from Michael Johnson in 2018
The Cincinnati Bengals got an unexpected boost from Michael Johnson in 2017 after a role change along the defensive line. Now the coaching staff hopes for even more in 2018.

BX: Late-round pick with most potential 2018 impact
This time of year, far and away the most interesting players to track during OTAs are the rookies. Not necessarily for the mistakes they make or how many times they look lost at the line of scrimmage, but who is proving the NFL practice stage won’t be too big for them. When looking at which rookies not only have the opportunity to make an impact on the 2018 Bengals, but have shown they are capable of taking advantage of it creates a small cross section.

William Jackson getting used to Teryl Austin’s unorthodox ways
New Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin wants his guys focused on turnovers in 2018 — to the point defenders have to jump on incomplete passes like they are live balls. Austin takes over a unit that struggled mightily to turn the ball over a season ago. His innovative way of forcing the jump-on-ball mentality is something leaders like William Jackson have needed to time to figure out.

Bengals 53-Man Roster Projection: Tight Ends
The Bengals’ tight end situation is tricky since a lot of components of its success are in flux. Primarily, the health of starter Tyler Eifert is a massive question heading into this season. Eifert, the Bengals’ franchise tight end, returns to play this season on a 1-year, $6 million prove-it deal. The structure of his deal says quite a bit about how the Bengals view Eifert now. Clearly, they still like his fit on the roster. However, by only giving him one year, it’s evident that the Bengals don’t trust Eifert to play 16 games.

Hobson's Choice: paper chase
I’ve got a hard time seeing an offense that plays 13-16 games with Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Joe Mixon, and Tyler Eifert backed up by a new offensive line mentality with a proven left tackle and a promising young center not being better. Certainly better than what transpired the last two years. If everybody stays healthy, right?

AFC North Bytes

Tyrod Taylor: I still feel that I’d done more than enough to stay
Tyrod Taylor felt he did “more than enough to stay” in Buffalo, but Bills coach Sean McDermott made a decision to move on. Taylor now is the starter in Cleveland for however long he is the starter in Cleveland, and AJ McCarron and Josh Allen have arrived in Buffalo.

Ex-Steelers OT Mike Adams Wants to Return to NFL as TE After Losing 68 Pounds
After he dropped nearly 70 pounds, former Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears offensive tackle Mike Adams is hoping to make a comeback in the NFL—albeit at a different position. During an interview with Everything Buckeye Sports Network (h/t Eleven Warriors' D.J. Byrnes), Adams said he's hoping to play tight end if given another shot in the league. Adams added he weighs 255 pounds, down from around 323 when he was in the NFL.

Random Bytes

Clay Matthews Hit by Line Drive at Softball Game, to Have Surgery on Nose Injury
Green Bay Packers star Clay Matthews required a trip to the emergency room after he was hit in the face by a line drive during a charity softball game Saturday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported. WLUK-TV showed a clip of the play

Tom Brady Working Out at Gillette Stadium Despite Skipping Patriots OTAs
Despite skipping OTAs thus far, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has reportedly been spotted working out in the team's practice bubble at Gillette Stadium. According to Michael Giardi of NBC Sports Boston, Brady has taken part in throwing sessions with wide receiver Julian Edelman, who missed the entire 2017 season due to a torn ACL.

The Biggest Developments from Every NFL Team's OTAs
The first step in every NFL team's preparation for the upcoming season is organized team activities (OTAs). It's admittedly an early step, with players in shorts and shells, but it can be a big one, too.