The Cincinnati Bengals are getting younger and faster in the secondary, but even positive transitions can be painful.
Here’s a look at the cornerback position from the 2023 season.
- Cam Taylor-Britt
- Chidobe Awuzie
- Mike Hilton
- DJ Turner
- Jalen Davis
- DJ Ivey
With Chidobe Awuzie coming off an injury and entering the last year of his contract, the Bengals went to a familiar place to find another cornerback: The second round of the NFL Draft, Two years in a row; this is where the team looked to add a cornerback to develop to a starter. In 2022, it was Cam Taylor-Britt, and this year, it was DJ Turner.
Taylor-Britt took the step forward we were hoping to see and was recently called the team’s most improved player.
Turner saw action pretty quickly, largely splitting time with Awuzie. He took his lumps but showed fantastic potential.
Mike Hilton was once again fantastic and dynamic in the slot, and Jalen Davis filled in for him admirably when called upon.
Chidobe Awuzie has likely played his last down for the Bengals, but that’s okay because the pipeline is a-burstin.
There were a lot of critics of Taylor-Britt in his rookie campaign, but they went quiet this season. I expect the same from Turner this year. He has the toughness that the Bengals look for in a cornerback and is a technician in coverage with blazing speed.
By the end of next season people will be talking about the Bengals as having two CB1s and debating which of the pair is better.
DJ Ivey showed fantastic potential before injury and could see a more prominent role in 2024.
Hilton will be back in his leadership role from the slot, but the team may want to start looking for his heir apparent for 2025.