The Bengals are desperate to turn their fortunes around, so they turned to the 2019 Draft class to help them out.
In addition to fourth round pick Ryan Finley taking the reigns over from Dalton, the Bengals also started Drew Sample and Germaine Pratt.
The second and third picks in the draft, respectively, got some good looks today. Even undrafted rookie Stanley Morgan got four targets, but only caught one.
The Bengals have been getting their young players lots of snaps this season. Of course, when the Bengals have injuries to some of their longest tenured veterans like A.J. Green and Carlos Dunlap.
Rookies have gotten action all year long, starting in Week 1 when Michael Jordan started at left guard and Damion Willis started at wide receiver.
In Week 10, Sample and Pratt started at their respective positions, but things didn’t turn out well for them. Sample caught Finley’s first career completion, but it was only good for three yards. He later went to the injury tent, and even though he returned, he didn’t have anymore targets after that.
Pratt also played pretty well at linebacker, but the Bengals rotated their linebackers so he didn’t get as many snaps as he should have.
They way the game ended, the Bengals rookies clearly didn’t make that positive of an impact on either side of the ball. The final score of 49-13 indicates that the Bengals have a lot to work on before they go to Oakland for Week 11.
Finley did well, all things considered. The pick-six was a bad play from Finley, but his pocket presence and mobility were the most obvious positives he can look at after the game.
The Bengals are obviously going to go through a rebuild, so it behoves them to see how their young players look. That’s the whole reason Finley even got the start in the first place. Pratt fills an obvious need, while Sample seems more like a system pick. Either way, there is little footage of them out there, so the Bengals want more.
The season is already down the tubes, so what is the harm? Not only will this give the Bengals more opportunity to evaluate these young players, but it will also give them time to develop into key players next season.