The Cincinnati Bengals had made it to the playoffs for five consecutive seasons and six of seven from 2009 through 2015. It was huge for a Bengals team that had only made the playoffs once since 1990, with a 15-year gap where they never made it to the postseason. With five straight years in the playoffs, Cincinnati fans had gotten spoiled to the playoffs and were starting to get anxious at the team not winning playoff games. When the Bengals missed the playoffs last season, fans demanded chances. Those might have come in the 2017 NFL Draft when the team chose John Ross and Joe Mixon.

John Ross

John Ross was a huge prospect coming into the 2017 NFL Draft. The former Washington Huskies wide receiver had one of the overall best showings at the NFL Combine this year. At the event, Ross broke the record for the 40-yard-dash when he ran a 4.22 at the NFL Combine. That excited a lot of fans but most NFL teams know that there are those who can do amazing at these special events but that doesn’t always carry over to the NFL game. The Cincinnati Bengals hope that Ross is an exception to that case.

In his last year of college. John Ross caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. It was the first year that he worked primarily as a receiver and he developed an injury-prone reputation in college.

He tore his left ACL in 2015 and underwent surgery this sprint for a torn labrum. However, with the Cincinnati Bengals starting training camp, Ross has the green light to go all out in practice.

John Ross will look to compliment A.J. Green in the offense and could help the Cincinnati Bengals rebound from missing the playoffs in 2016.

Fellow wide receiver Brandon LaFell told ESPN that there is a lot of speed on the Bengals team this year, and one of those new weapons is Ross.

Joe Mixon

Another one of those speedy players is Joe Mixon. There is a great chance that Mixon would have been a first-round draft pick this season if not for an incident off campus a few years back involving Mixon punching an intoxicated woman in the face after she assaulted him.

It was all picked up on a video camera in a restaurant and Joe knocking out the woman after she attacked him has stuck in people’s minds since that video was released.

Despite this, Joe Mixon returned from a year suspension and looked great at the University of Oklahoma last year, earning the opportunity to compete for the starting running back job this season with the Cincinnati Bengals. LaFell said that Mixon has great speed and vision and everyone in practice have seen how fast he is. ESPN also reported that, while some have slowed down since working out in pads, Mixon is faster than ever.