The 10 most important players on the Cincinnati Bengals
1. WR A.J. Green (40 points)
2. DT Geno Atkins (31)
3. OT Cedric Ogbuehi (28)
4. WR John Ross (25)
T-5. OT Jake Fisher (23)
T-5. LB Vontaze Burfict (23)
T-5. TE Tyler Eifert (23)
8. CB Dre Kirkpatrick (21)
9. DE Carlos Dunlap (17)
10. G Clint Boling (eight)
Of the five first-place votes handed out here, four belonged to A.J. Green (Baskin, Burke, Marston, Single). The fifth: Cedric Ogbuehi (Klemko), who along with Jake Fisher is penciled in as a starting tackle this season. Fisher landed at No. 2 on the Klemko and Baskin ballots.
The rookie Ross cracked all five ballots, with a high ranking of No. 4 (Marston) and a low of No. 9 (Baskin). Cincinnati’s other high-profile rookie, RB Joe Mixon, made his way into just two ballots—one in the eight hole (Baskin), the other at No. 9 (Single). In an interesting twist, those were the only five poll points assigned to the Bengals at the running back position. Neither Gio Bernard nor Jeremy Hill claimed even so much as a single vote. More on that development ...
Ben Baskin defends his eighth-place vote for Joe Mixon: Mixon will have to fight for playing time at first with Bernard and Hill, who is coming off an ACL tear, but Mixon will quickly prove to be the most dynamic and versatile of the trio, landing him the lion’s share of playing time. Having a sure-handed target out of the backfield will both make life easier for Andy Dalton and open up the field for A.J. Green. Mixon—despite how I feel about him personally, which is, to put it lightly, not great—will bring a dimension to the offense that the Bengals have never had.
Other Bengals receiving votes: C Russell Bodine, CB Adam Jones (seven points); S George Iloka (six); RB Joe Mixon, DE Jordan Willis (five); DE Wallace Gilberry (four); S Shawn Williams, LB Kevin Minter (one).