With the summer in full swing and NFL training camps less than two months away now, we gathered our Cincy Jungle staff to rank the top 25 Bengals of the 2020 season.
This ranking is simply who we believe are the 25 best Bengals heading into next season. It includes veterans and rookies alike, though it obviously is more favorable of players who’ve actually played snaps in the NFL, so don’t expect guys like Joe Burrow to be a top-five player right off the bat.
For a recap of the list, check out our stream here.
Continuing at No. 19 is one of the two players that came over from Mike Zimmer’s Minnesota Vikings this offseason.
No. 19: Mackensie Alexander, cornerback
Mackensie Alexander was a top-15 cornerback in the 2020 free agency class. The 5-foot-10 four-year pro comes in as the first cornerback on our list, but he’ll be far from the last as we’ve yet to see where Trae Waynes, Darius Phillips and William Jackson are slotted in at.
In 2019, Alexander was mainly used as a slot corner, starting just four games. With five deflections and 38 tackles, the Clemson Tigers product played just under 50% of the snaps for the Vikings, a team that downed the 13-3 Saints in the NFC Wild Card round.
Alexander is expected to have a much bigger role with the Bengals than he did in Minnesota.
As the team’s projected starter in the slot, Alexander will likely see over 50% of the defense snaps and will get the opportunity he needs to finally have a breakout season.
The former second-round pick is betting on himself this season.
He signed a one-year deal for $4 million, hoping to increase his market value after a consistent season on an up-and-coming Bengals roster. On a secondary that could use a consistent force since letting go Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick, Alexander will be auditioning for a long-term contract come the 2021 offseason.
The promising nickel corner has shown an ability to jump off the line, getting to the quarterback quickly, and has proven that he can play well in coverage as well.
The team is hopeful that his addition, along with Waynes, Vonn Bell and D.J. Reader, will completely turn this defense around. Undersized and potentially being used only in the slot and not on the edge, Alexander comes in as our 20th best Bengal.
Let’s hope he can climb a few ranks up this list after this season.