Below is the current pre-draft, pre-UFA roster of the Cincy Bengals heading into the draft.
All practice squad guys are in (xxx). By my count we have a total of 61 guys presently (47 regulars and 14 practice squad guys).
Hopefully Dalton is the starter for at least the next 5+ years. Gradkowski is adequate, but I wouldn’t be opposed to finding a more capable backup via a low draft pick or UFA who we could groom behind him in case of injury or if we can’t sign Dalton down the road long-term.
A collection of decent, serviceable guys who each have their attributes, but nobody who really stands out as “wow”. BJGE is a good short yardage / goal line guy who doesn’t fumble. Leonard is good on 3rd down with his hands and blocking. Scott is a poor-man’s feature back but hasn’t really ever had a chance to do a lot.
He does a decent job of running into people.
AJ Green is a stud on the deep routes. Shipley is a very good possession/slot receiver. Hawkins & Whalen each have their niche but neither is a true 3-down receiver. Tate isn’t a receiver and will hopefully get replaced by a guy who can return kicks and play a position. Binns has some buzz presently but like Hazelton is totally unproven. They could really use another receiver to combine with Green & Shipley as a third ‘every down’ receiver...especially with the loss of Caldwell and Simpson’s experience. If we say AJ is the speed guy and Shipley is the slot guy, I could go for a late round steal like Broyles (Okla) as the big-body (Colston type) guy.
Gresham is very good but spends too much time blocking. Hopefully the O-line gets improves so Gresham can run more routes and we can see what he really could do. Cochart is a serviceable UFA. We could use another guy to backup Gresham – like D Lee or such. I see a third TE as a low priority in that it’s just insurance if Gresham gets hurt.
LT...A Whitworth, A Collins
LG...T Wharton, O Hudson
C...K Cook, C Harris
RG...(n/a), C Boling
RT...A Smith, (M O’Donnell)
I really don’t see a RG on this team. Boling got manhandled in his few starts and couldn’t even beat out McGlynn. I like Hudson more than Boling, but he couldn’t even get on the field ahead of Boling. I’m hoping that we get a DeCastro/Glenn/Kelmechi/etc... in the draft to plug into RG. I’d call RG a major hole presently. Collins is a stud but I think they will keep his as a backup T instead of a starting G.
LDE... M Johnson, D Harvey
LDT... P Sims, D Peko
RDT... G Atkins, (N Hayden)
RDE... C Dunlap, R Geathers, J Anderson
I really like a starting front of Johnson/Sims/Atkins/Dunlap (those are my starters, maybe not the team’s starters). I’d like to see more productivity out of Johnson though. It will be interesting to see if Harvey or Anderson can eventually shake that ‘bust’ label as they are the 2 highest drafted players on the D-Line but the 2 worst so far in their careers.
I think I’d rather have a 4/4 ratio of DE/DT instead of the present 5/3 ratio. With Fanene we had that because he could play both, and play them well. I don’t see any of the DE’s as a DT. I’m going to assume 1 of the DE’s doesn’t make it to opening day (Anderson?) and we add a DT somewhere along the way.
OLB...K Rivers, D Mouch
MLB...R Maualuga, R Muckelroy, D Skuta, (D Evans)
OLB...T Howard, (V Rey), (M Johnson)
I know there is a lot of love for the boy from B.C. to play in the middle, but in a 4-3 we really don’t need a ton of middle linebackers and only a few OLB’s. It will be interesting to see how they shift/adjust the linebackers and what they draft next month. What I have listed is how they stand presently. I’m sure everybody has an opinion for what they should do.
CB...N Clements, J Allen, B Ghee
CB...L Hall, A Jones, (R Murray)
FS...R Nelson, R Sands, C Crocker
SS...T Mays, (J Miles)
We have tons of cornerbacks but only 1 good, proven safety...yet everybody wants us to draft another corner. I’m not sure how the roster of 7 corners and 1 safety will work if we aren’t going to move a cornerback to safety. I’d like to see one of the CB’s become a S, but I don’t see that happening. Mays has been unimpressive in 2 seasons so I’m hoping they can do something at that position.
The other guys
Kicker...M Nugent, (T Weber)
I’m listing Jones at punt returner in hopes that they can replace Tate here, and perhaps find a position player to return kicks and replace Tate altogether since he can only return and isn’t much of a receiver. Huber is ok and Nugent is a good kicker.