If the Cincinnati Bengals want to make a run in the loaded AFC North, they’re going to need several players to emerge as playmakers on defense.
One player the Bengals coaching staff believes can be that is second-year linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither.
The Bengals’ fourth-round pick in 2020 out of Appalachian State made 30 total tackles as a rookie last season with an interception and three pass deflections. However, he only played 30% of Cincinnati’s defensive snaps last season and had a very low 40.7 Pro Football Focus grade.
Despite this, the Bengals coaching staff feels confident in Gaither after he impressed in training camp.
“Akeem Davis-Gaither has had a hell of a camp,” defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway. “I can’t see him not out there performing in some role at some point making plays just because he’s had such a great camp. He’s a tireless worker, he’s really had a great camp.”
The speedy linebacker sure seems as if he’ll be a key to the Bengals’ plans to slow down the likes of Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Najee Harris and all the other dynamic playmakers the Bengals will see this season.