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Bengals 2021 Season Awards: Rookie of the Year

This one should be a runaway, but we’re asking for your opinion, regardless.

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We’re unveiling an awards series chronicling the Cincinnati Bengals’ outstanding 2021 season. In doing so, we’re grabbing your votes and opinions, much like we do on a weekly basis here.

One of the seemingly easiest awards in this series is that of Rookie of the Year, although there may be a tighter race than some assume. Regardless, we’re going to lay out the candidates and see what happens.

Ja’Marr Chase

The No. 5 overall pick became a Bengal under much scrutiny, but silenced people right as the regular season began. Chase grabbed a long bomb touchdown in the season-opener against the Vikings and never looked back.

Chase set the Bengals’ single-season receiving record for receiving yards (1,455) and had the second-most receiving touchdowns in a single season by a Cincinnati receiver (13; tied with Tyler Eifert). His rookie campaign rivaled that of Randy Moss, as “Uno” ascended himself into the conversation as one of the league’s best wide receivers at just 21 years old.

Jackson Carman

Another young player with a lot of upside, Carman took his lumps as a rookie. Even so, there were flashes of greatness here and there, as he played both guard positions in 2021.

Carman started six games and played 42% of the team’s offensive snaps (462), as well as 17% of special teams snaps (79). He’ll be in the competition for what seems like three open spots on the offensive line next year.

Cameron Sample

The rookie defensive lineman played in 14 games as a rookie, lining up both inside and outside on the defensive line. He racked up 1.5 sacks and 14 tackles.

Evan McPherson

Like Chase, McPherson had a rookie season for the ages. He hit nearly 85% of his field goals, and while that doesn’t sound overly-impressive at first blush, the Bengals routinely asked him to make huge kicks.

McPherson was 9-of-11 from 50-plus yards this season and was a perfect 14-of-14 in the postseason. Two of those 14 makes were game-winners in both the Divisional and Conference Championship rounds.

Chris Evans

While his opportunities were limited, Evans seemed to make a big play nearly every time he touched the football. He had 77 rushing yards on a 4.5 yards per carry clip, along with 151 receiving yards with two touchdown catches. Evans could be poised for a bigger role behind Joe Mixon next year.

Poll

Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ 2021 Rookie of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Ja’Marr Chase
    (632 votes)
  • 0%
    Jackson Carman
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Cameron Sample
    (1 vote)
  • 16%
    Evan McPherson
    (125 votes)
  • 0%
    Chris Evans
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (3 votes)
772 votes total Vote Now