The Bengals look to defend their AFC North title this season with a strong core of returning players. Pro Football Focus details the Bengals current players and projects a 2014 starting lineup. They also have color coded the players according to the level of talent they believe they are. Some of the notes are surprising.
The article breaks each player into one of 7 categories. They are
- Elite Starter
- High Quality starter
- Solid Starter
- Adequate Starter
- Below Average Starter
- Poor Starter Unknown
The Bengals have only one player listed at the elite level. This is defensive tackle Geno Atkins. A.J. Green comes in as an in between guy that falls between Elite and High quality. Other High Quality guys are Vontaze Burfict, Leon Hall, Andre Smith and Andrew Whitworth.
Solid starters are listed as Marvin Jones (borderline high quality), Carlos Dunlap(borderline high quality), Adam Jones, Reggie Nelson, James Harrison, Clint Boling, Giovani Bernard and Kevin Zeitler (borderline high quality).
The Bengals have two below average guys in Rey Maualuga and Domata Peko. Jermaine Gresham is listed as borderline Below Average to Poor.
One interesting note in their lineup is that Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson were not listed. The Bengals are noted for having one of the best looking lines in the league. I think if Collins comes back the Bengals line would look even better.
The article talks about how the Bengals could save 4.2 million in cap space if they cot Peko. They also talk about Robert Geathers being cut and this would save an additional 2.7 million against the cap.
Check out the full article to see the entire outlook from Pro Football Focus. After reading I feel pretty good about the outlook heading into the draft.