ESPN recently named each NFL team’s biggest X-factor in 2022 and they went with a rookie for the Cincinnati Bengals.

According to ESPN’s Ben Linsey, the Bengals’ biggest X-factor in 2022 is rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt, a second-round draft pick out of Nebraska.

Here’s what Linsey had to say about Taylor-Britt and the Bengals:

The Bengals made their way to the Super Bowl with Eli Apple as their No. 2 cornerback, but their investments in the secondary early in the 2022 NFL draft indicate that they’re not necessarily looking to run that back this season. Their second-round pick out of Nebraska, Cam Taylor-Britt, could push Apple for his starting spot. Taylor-Britt allowed a sub-80.0 passer rating on throws into his coverage in each of the past three seasons. He could make an impact for Cincinnati as a rookie.

Bengals
Sep 25, 2021; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (5) before the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, CBS Sports deemed cornerback Eli Apple as the Bengals’ “most overvalued player”, so it makes sense that he could be pushed for playing time by a rookie in 2022.

Apple was decent last year for the most part, but he was absolutely dreadful in the Super Bowl. There are a lot of reasons why Cincinnati lost to the Los Angeles Rams, but Apple is one of the reasons that’s at the top of the list.

Taylor-Britt has already made his presence felt in minicamps with his vocal approach and bulldog mentality. If Apple slips up in 2022, it won’t be long before Taylor-Britt takes his spot.

And that will probably be a good thing for the Bengals.

Featured image via Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports