Training Camp just kicked off for the Cincinnati Bengals, but there is already news out of camp raving about first-round pick Daxton Hill along with Cam Taylor-Britt and Cordell Volson. This is an excellent sign for the Bengals.
Depth is a huge piece to the puzzle when determining what teams are championship contenders and which teams aren’t. The Bengals have young players who can replace others once a contract extension and re-signing free agents come into play.
Cordell Volson Impressing
Many believe that Cordell Volson, who was selected with the 136th pick out of North Dakota State, has a legit shot at competing for the open guard position expected to be won by Jackson Carman. Volson’s diversity and ability to play multiple spots are what has been so impressive throughout minicamp and training camp this summer for the Bengals.
Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan confirmed that fourth-round rookie Cordell Volson will push Jackson Carman in that left guard battle, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.BengalsWire.com
This has to mean that either Volson is doing something exceptionally well and is catching the eye of Frank Pollack, the offensive line coach, and Brian Callahan, or guys like Jackson Carman, D’Ante Smith, Trey Hill, and Hakeem Adeniji just aren’t living up to there expectations.
Daxton Hill Looks Ready To Go
Since Jessie Bates has decided to hold out and not show up to training camp, it has given Bengals first-round pick out of Michigan Daxton Hill the opportunity to get first-team snaps with the defense alongside defensive backs Mike Hilton, Chidobe Awuzie, Eli Apple, and Vonn Bell and so far has he has looked the part.
Hill is a playmaker, which is exactly why the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the first place. His ability to do many things on a football field can affect the game differently.
He is solid in coverage and can also line up in the box and tackle at a high level. That is important to defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo of the Cincinnati Bengals. It allows him to expand the defensive schemes, line up Hill in many different spots, and play him in many different ways.
With Jessie Bates staying away, for now, first-rounder Daxton Hill has taken all the first-team reps since being drafted in Bates’s place at free safety, which is important because he was almost exclusively a nickel corner last year at Michigan. His athleticism has shown up, as has his ability to pick up the playbook, and the staff plans to play him a lot in the preseason. Once Bates is back, they’ll have to find a role for him, but that’s a good issue to have to deal with. Per Albert Breer of Sports IllustratedSports Illustrated
If Hill can play a vital part of the defense in his first season with the Bengals, that could be a huge boost to a defense that is trying to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke and that this defense is legit.
Cam Taylor-Britt giving Eli Apple competition
2nd round pick Cam Taylor-Britt has also been extremely impressive so far throughout minicamp and training camp. Taylor-Britt is very athletic, and he uses that to his strength. He is a playmaker, which could land him a lot more playing time than expected.
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo made it seem like Eli Apple still has that cornerback number two spot on lock for now, but Britt is giving him some friendly competition.
Taylor-Britt could be the type of player to see more and more playing time as the season develops. Especially if injuries occur to the cornerback position in particular. Then he would have to step into a much more vital role at the position in his rookie season.
With the signs out of camp, he seems like he is capable of doing that. I’d expect him to play a lot in pre-season to see some real live-action. That will ultimately be a key part of judging if he is ready, almost ready, or not ready at all to be on the football field in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.