Sports Illustrated Predicts Surprise Bengals Player to Make First Pro Bowl

Larry Rupp
Sports Illustrated predicts Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates to make the Pro Bowl in 2021.
Sports Illustrated predicts Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates to make the Pro Bowl in 2021. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates is headed into a contract year this season. Bates will need to impress the organization in order to secure a long-term deal. Thankfully, Sports Illustrated believes Bates will do just that, projecting the 24-year-old will make his first Pro-Bowl appearance in 2021.

Bengals News

Bates has been with the Bengals for the last three seasons since being drafted back in 2018 and has quickly become a reliable part of their secondary. The playmaker is coming off a career season in which he posted 109 tackles, 15 pass breakups, 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble.

It's safe to say Cincinnati's defense struggled to stop any kind of offense last season as the team gave up 389.2 yards per game (No. 26 in NFL). However, Bates was a lone bight spot, showcasing his nonstop motor out on the field and his ability to make the tough tackles between the sidelines.

In fact, Bates was responsible for 714.67 fewer yards gained by opposing offenses last year than the average replacement defender, according to NFL GSIS statistics. That is just pure dominance and Bates will look to keep his momentum going heading into the start of the 2021 season.

The Bengals will look to keep improving and Bates will play a key role in their turnaround as a team. Cincinnati remains a long shot to make the playoffs next season as it has odds set at +450 to secure a postseason berth, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.