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Several Bengals rookies could contribute early

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Posted July 15, 2010 @ 2:21 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The Bengals got an important collective contribution from their rookies last season even with ORT Andre Smith being limited to six games because of a broken foot. Several members of the Bengals' 11-player draft class made instant impacts and look to have bright futures, most notably SLB Rey Maualuga. Whether the Bengals' 2010 draft class has the impressive depth of the '09 class remains to be seen, but several rookies are poised to compete for regular playing time in their first season, and others may be able to contribute over the long term. TE Jermaine Gresham, the club's first-round pick, is expected to start early, and WR Jordan Shipley looms as a major threat to be the club's slot receiver as well as a factor in the return game. On defense, DE Carlos Dunlap, a second-round pick, could see action as a rush specialist in Year One. With CB Brandon Ghee, DT Geno Atkins and LB Roddrick Muckelroy also looking likely to make the roster, too, the Bengals could have a half-dozen rookies vying for roles, though the majority will be complementary ones.


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