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Bengals Stock Report: NFL Preseason Edition

We take stock on various Bengals now that the NFL preseason is here.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Bengals' first preseason game vs. the Giants, as well as the first two weeks of training camp, it's time to take a look at which players have seen their stock rise and which have seen their stock fall.

Stock Up: DT Geno Atkins

Is Geno Atkins finally back to being the dominant force he was from 2011-13 before tearing his ACL?

That remains to be seen until regular-season football games are played, but his performance in training camp has Bengals fans cautiously optimistic that's the case. Prior to Friday's preseason opener vs. the Giants, the Bengals held two joint practices with the G-Men, in which Atkins was unstoppable. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther even told CBS Sports that Atkins was, "better than he was before the injury. Those guys say he's ruining practice when he's out there."

Atkins continued his re-emergence in the preseason opener as he made his presence felt while playing in just a handful of snaps. His best play came on this tackle-for-loss in which he beat his man across the line to make the stop:

The thought of Atkins being better than his 2012 form when he was arguably the best defensive player in football is a scary thought for anyone on Cincinnati's schedule this year.

Stock Up: Mohamed Sanu

One of the biggest offensive stars of training camp has been the fourth-year receiver. He's been tearing it up and was even the No. 2 starting receiver next to A.J. Green on the initial depth chart. (Though, we know that can't be taken too seriously.)

Sanu parlayed his great camp into a start vs. the Giants in the preseason opener before catching a touchdown pass on the game's opening drive.

Sanu finished the game with only that catch, but didn't play much after that drive as other receivers were put in. As of now, Sanu is the No. 2 receiver on the team, even if he is better suited in the slot as the No. 3 guy.

Stock Up: Tyler Eifert

For the second straight training camp, Tyler Eifert has been uncoverable by whoever's been tasked with defending the 6'6" tight end. Whether it was his teammates or vs. Giants players in joint sessions, Eifert was constantly getting open and giving Andy Dalton another viable target.

Though he played sparingly against the Giants, Eifert still caught two passes on two targets for 30 yards. This comes after her caught three passes in the first quarter of last year's opener vs. the Ravens before dislocating his elbow and missing the year.

Eifert is once again poised for a breakout campaign if he can stay healthy. We've seen glimpses of that in camp and in the first preseason game.

Stock Down: Josh Johnson

With AJ McCarron sitting out vs. the Giants, it was a great chance for Josh Johnson to make up ground in the race for the backup QB spot. Instead, Johnson struggled vs. the Giants and did nothing to suggest he should be the No. 2 QB to open the year.

Johnson often looked timid and wanting to scramble out of the pocket rather than keeping his eyes downfield. He also caught too much air under one pass that should have been a TD catch by Marvin Jones. Johnson's struggles were crippling to the offense that frankly should have done more against a depleted Giants defense.

Johnson simply doesn't look he's capable of winning the backup job if McCarron is healthy and even remotely competent.

Stock Down: Bengals Returners

You can go ahead and keep Brandon Tate penciled in for a spot on the final 53-man roster. To this point, no one has managed to stand out in training camp, and that continued in the preseason opener.

Mario Alford returned his first kickoff from deep in the end zone, but he should have taken a knee as he only made it out to the 15-yard line. He also returned two punts for eight yards. The rookie hasn't done much in camp as a returner either and has even muffed at least two returns.

Giovani Bernard returned two punts for 0 yards. While he may have been an electric returner in college, that has not been the case in camp or in the first preseason game.

Tate would win the job by default if the final roster was made today. There's still time for someone to emerge, but it looks bleak at this point.

Hold Stock: Marvin Jones

Marvin Jones' game against the Giants was reflective of his training camp performance to this point. While he's flashed some, he hasn't done enough to show he can still be the same receiver who caught 10 scores in 2013 before missing all of 2014 with foot and ankle injuries.

Jones did not see a single snap in Andy Dalton's only drive of the night, but did enter the game on the second series with backup QB Josh Johnson. Jones did catch one pass for 17 yards and, as mentioned above, had another play in which he beat his man and was open for what would have been a 37-yard score. The pass sailed though, allowing the defender to make a play on the ball, but Jones was still in position to make the grab, if he'd adjusted a hair quicker.

Overall, it was a good showing for Jones, but taking into account his entire training camp to this point, holding stock on him is the best option for now. He's already missed a stretch of practices with a hamstring injury.That led to Jones being called out by Marvin Lewis for not finding a way to stay on the field.

Let's see what Jones does in the final week of camp and in the second preseason game next Monday.