Wide receiver A.J. Green sustained a nine game streak in which he caught at least one touchdown (10 touchdowns in nine games) breaking the Bengals single-season record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch.
Defensive tackle Geno Atkins led all NFL interior linemen in sacks with 12.5 on his way to joining Green, and two others, in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Not to mention the glimpses of excellence that fans saw from the likes of wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
Possibly the most surprising performance was that of Vontaze Burfict. Burfict was at one time considered a lottery pick but found himself undrafted after the 2012 draft. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis saw something in Burfict, and 127 regular season tackles later, he knew he had made the right move.
Looking ahead to 2013, the Bengals have a slew of undrafted players vying to make the final 53-man roster. Statistics show that all but one of them will be sent home prematurely. In fact, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, 20 percent of the league’s starters began as undrafted free agents.
Before those decisions have to be made, here’s a look at two players that could follow in Burfict’s undrafted footsteps and silence the critics in 2013.