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Vonn Bell understudy Jordan Battle is Bengals breakout candidate

There aren’t many secrets when it comes to the Cincinnati Bengals defense coming into 2024.

By now, most know what B.J. Hill is worth in the middle, that Cam Taylor-Britt is a rising star at corner and just how good the linebacker duo is.

There’s also the matter of second-year safety Jordan Battle.

That’s who Jonathon Macri of Pro Football Focus named as Cincinnati’s likely breakout candidate:

Battle was one of the highest-graded college safeties heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, and while he fell to the third round and didn’t get a starting job until Week 11 of his rookie season, all of those strong metrics remained. Battle earned top-10 marks at his position, both overall (82.5) and in run defense (81.3), while also adding a 76.4 PFF coverage grade (17th). He should be locked in as a full-time starter to kick off 2024 and continue his impressive play for the Bengals.

It’s not an uncommon thought around the Bengals this offseason even in the wake of the team adding back veteran safety Vonn Bell and bringing over Geno Stone from Baltimore.

In fact, Bell has had plenty of praise for Battle, too.

Given the team’s affinity for two-plus-safety sets, Battle shouldn’t have a problem seeing the field plenty in his defined role as a sophomore. And those additions to the secondary should help his “breakout” status come to light, not hinder it.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire