Marvin Lewis doesn’t just look at the Cincinnati Bengals adding rookies this year to provide a boost to their overall talent.

The coach sees “two kids that didn’t play last year” because of injury as bonus additions to make the team even stronger.

Jackson, Billings like bonus additions to this year’s rookie class

“We’re excited,” Lewis recently told Bruce Murray and Kirk Morrison on the SiriusXM Blitz.

And his excitement begins with the fact cornerback William Jackson III, the Bengals’ 2016 first-round pick from Houston who missed his entire rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle, and nose tackle Andrew Billings, a fourth-round choice from Baylor who sat out his rookie year after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, are healthy.

‘A lot of time, a lot of research’ went into vetting of Mixon

Joining them are wide receiver John Ross, this year’s first-rounder from Washington; running back Joe Mixon, a second-round pick from Oklahoma; defensive end Jordan Willis, a third-round selection from Kansas State, and linebacker Carl Lawson, a fourth-round choice from Auburn.

Lewis said “a lot of time, a lot of research” went into the Bengals’ vetting of Mixon, who carries the heavy baggage of the 2014 video that captured him punching a female student at Oklahoma. Lewis said the Bengals came away convinced there were no additional red flags, and that only enhances his confidence the young players will make a significant impact.

‘I can’t tell you when, but throughout the season, they’re going to do some great things’

“We’ve got some young guys who are going to do some good things for us and make us a better football team throughout the season,” the coach said. “I can’t tell you when, but throughout the season, they’re going to do some great things for us and help us in critical areas.”

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