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Bengals Player Rankings: No. 16

Untapped potential revolves around the next player in our countdown.

Divisional Round - Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

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.

As we continue to preview the top 25 Bengals of 2020, we get to a key free agent acquisition who could make a major impact in the secondary.

No. 16: Trae Waynes, cornerback

This offseason the Bengals moved on from 2012 first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick, and replaced him with Vikings’ 2015 first-round pick Trae Waynes.

Waynes is a tremendous talent, which is what made him a top draft pick. He has great speed and can match up man-to-man with just about anybody. He is 27 years-old and full of unrealized potential. If he can take the next step, he could be an excellent addition opposite William Jackson.

The next step for Waynes has more to do on the coverage side compared to his run defense. The former Michigan State Spartan has been one of the better tackling cornerbacks in football since he became a starter in 2016. And while he has the raw speed and length to handle most coverage assignments, his discipline and ball skills are what has held him back from being a true shutdown cornerback.

That didn’t stop the Bengals from compensating Waynes like one, though. They gave him a contract with an average salary of $14 million, so they certainly believe in him.

What do you expect from Waynes in 2020?