Analyst Names Sneaky Bengals' Breakout Candidate for 2021

This would bode well for the offense
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CINCINNATI — The Bengals' offense is hoping to take multiple steps forward in 2021. 

From Joe Burrow's potential Week 1 return to a healthy Joe Mixon and the development of Tee Higgins, they're expected to be better than they were this season.

Pro Football Focus analyst Sam Monson picked an early breakout candidate for all 32 NFL teams. He believes Bengals tight end Drew Sample could have a great third season with the team. 

The 24-year-old finished with 40 receptions for 379 yards and one touchdown in 2020.

"Sample played extensively in his second season, and you’d be stretching the truth to say there was much there to suggest he would dominate in Year 3," Sam Monson wrote. "Still, he was solid as a blocker at the very least, which should at least continue to earn him playing time, and as a former second-round pick, there should be something there. His career is only 976 snaps old, and while you would like to see more than 400 yards from those snaps, he did break six tackles and generate more than five yards per reception after the catch in 2020."

Monson admitted it would be too easy to pick Burrow or Higgins for a prediction like this, so he went a bit deeper.

A Sample breakout would become more likely if the Bengals can add pieces to their offensive line and find a true vertical threat this offseason. 

Both issues cost Cincinnati games in 2020. 

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