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Bengals’ rookie DE Khalid Kareem shares the two NFL stars he’s modeled his game after

Khalid Kareem may one day be a star, and he’ll have these two rushers to thank for it.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will be bringing in a rookie class with uber-high expectations this season. Although Logan Wilson, Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins will lead the class, the Bengals had a few scary good late-round picks.

One such player was former Notre Dame defensive end Khalid Kareem. The team picked up Kareem in the fifth round. After a stellar college career, Kareem comes into the league with high expectations.

Those expectations come as Kareem gave some insight into the players that he will be looking to model his career after. Let’s just say he chose a few of the most sack-hungry players in the NFL.

“‘He just plays the game the right way, always hustling to the ball,’ Kareem said of one of his favorites, Arizona sack ace Chandler Jones. ‘Same thing with Everson Griffen. ‘They never lay down on the field. They’re always around the ball. They’re always in the picture,’”’s Geoff Hobson wrote.

Jones has been especially dominant the last few seasons. In 2019, he tallied 19 sacks. Let’s just say an average of over a sack per game isn’t something oftentimes seen at the NFL level.

As for Griffen, he’s still a free agent but is coming off one of his best season in the league as well. With three double-digit sack seasons, the Bengals can only hope that Kareem lives up to the reputation of these two star rushers.

Recording 5.5 sacks his final season at Notre Dame, Kareem has the talent, the athleticism and the opportunity in front of him. With two of the best in the business ahead of him, Kareem could be the future Cincinnati is looking for.

Someone will eventually take over from Geno Atkins. Can that torch be handled by Khalid Kareem? Let’s hope so.