As we all know, the Bengals have immense talent this year. We definitely have more than 53 deserving players on this roster, but unfortunately only the best 53 can stay. Here is my analysis on which players will make the cut, and which will be released.
Here's how the formatting will work, I will say all the players available for that position, with the spots available in parenthesis, and then which make the 53 man roster.
I think this position goes without say. Andy Dalton will be the starter and Bruce Gradkowski will back him up. There is no way the Bengals carry a 3rd quarterback and Tyler Hanson is not experienced enough to overtake Bruce on the depth chart. Hanson might be able to find his way onto a practice squad though.
Cuts: Tyler Hanson
I think the Bengals will go into the season carrying four running backs. BJGE, Scott, and Leonard will be the primary three while Boom, Peerman, Stewart and Brown fight it out for the last spot. I believe that Peerman will make the team if not for his Special Teams play alone. Boom is a darkhorse to overtake Peerman though.
Cuts: Aaron Brown, Rodney Stewart, Boom Herron/Cedric Peerman
Full Back (1): Chris Pressley
There is really no competition here. Pressley makes it and Brian Leonard/Orson Charles backs him up. There is a possibility of using Peko as the goal-line full back to get the tough yards.
This is possibly the deepest position group for the Bengals. AJ Green, Jordan Shipley, Mohamed Sanu, and Marvin Jones are all but assured a roster spot. The battle will be between Binns, Hawkins, Hazelton, Tate, Whalen, Hilton, Moore, and Rodgers. I believe that Hawkins, Binns, and Whalen are the best three. But, since Sanu and Shipley will already be playing the slot, Whalen might be traded. This would open another roster spot for whichever receiver impresses the most during training camp. Also, another returner must be found.
Cuts: Vidal Hazelton, Brandon Tate, Justin Hilton/Kashif Moore/Taevon Rodgers
Traded: Ryan Whalen
Gresham and Charles will be the primary tight ends, while Lee backs them up. Unfortunately Cochart will be cut but there is a strong chance the Bengals pick him up for their practice squad.
Cuts: Colin Cochart
Offensive Line (8): Jacob Bell, Clint Boling, Anthony Collins, Kyle Cook, Otis Hudson, Matthew O'Donnel, Dennis Roland, Andre Smith, Travelle Wharton, Andrew Whitworth, Kevin Zeitler, Ben Bojicic, Landon Walker
This too is a very deep position group. The starters will be, from left to right, Whit, Wharton, Cook, Zeitler, and Smith. I believe that Collins, Hudson, and Boling round out the rest of the group. Collins is too versatile to let go and Hudson/Boling are projects taken on by Alexander to mold into quality contributors. But one of the remaining linemen will make the practice squad, as you can never have enough lineman.
Cuts: Jacob Bell, Matthew O'Donnel, Dennis Roland, Ben Bojicic, Landon Walker
Leon Hall and Nate Clements will be our two starting cornerbacks with Kirkpatrick playing the slot. Between the remaining corners, I think Pacman and Allen make the team. Pacman provides excellent punt returning and solid cornerbacking. Allen/Clements can double up as a safety, thereby increasing their value.
Cuts: Brandon Ghee, Derrius Brooks, Bubba Forest, Shaun Prater, Terrence Newman
Nelson and Iloka will be our starters while Mays/Sands, and Miles are our backups. Mays and Sands have all the athletic tools required to play the game and will continue to work on those tools this year. Miles also provides special teams value.
Cuts: Tony Dye, Emmanuel Lamur
Rey/Burfict will be our starting MLB, Manny Lawson and Dontay Moch will be our SLB, and Thomas Howard will be our WLB. The loser of the starting MLB battle will back up MLB while doubling up at SAM. There is too much talent in Muck and Mock to cut them.
Cuts: DeQuin Evans, Micah Johnson, Vincent Rey
Traded: Dan Skuta
Defensive Line (9): Geno Atkins, Domata Peko, Nick Hayden, Pat Sims, Devon Still, Brandon Thompson, Jamal Anderson, Carlos Dunlap, Robert Geathers, Michael Johnson, Derrick Harvey, Julian Miller, Brandon Joiner
Our Defensive Tackles should consist of a rotation of Atkins, Peko, Sims, Still, and Thompson while our Defensive Ends consist of a rotation of Dunlap, Anderson, Geathers, and Johnson. This ensures that we get the maximum potential out of each player by rotating them. This is by far our best position group.
Cuts: Nick Hayden, Derrick Harvey, Julian Miller, Brandon Joiner.
I don't see Weber beating out Nugent for the kicker position and there is no way we waste a roster spot for a backup kicker. Our punter remains Huber and Harris remains our long snapper.
So there you have it. My breakdown of each position group and how I believe the 53 man roster will end up looking like. Please leave me your thoughts or comments about the 53 man roster as a whole or individual position groups.