The Cincinnati Bengals currently have 90 players on their roster with training camp almost wrapped up.
While the final 53-man roster won't be set for three weeks, there is still is a major cutdown to be made before then. Prior to 4:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 1, all 32 NFL teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the Active List. That means that 15 players are going to get a visit from "The Turk" within the next two weeks.
Here, we take a look at who those unfortunate 15 may be:
OL Tanner Hawkinson
Compiling a list of just one wave of roster cuts is no easy task when it comes to the Bengals. That's evident right off the bat when Tanner Hawkinson will likely be among the first wave of guys to get sent packing.
A former fifth-round pick out of Kansas, Hawkinson has spent time on the active roster in each of his first two years in Cincinnati, but has played in just seven career games. As much time as Hawkinson has been given to improve, he simply has not done so.
In Friday's preseason win over the Giants, Hawkinson played 58 snaps and had the worst PFF grade (-4.9) of any Bengal.
CB Brandon Ghee
Brandon Ghee looked decent early on in training camp, but a hamstring injury has sidelined him for almost two weeks now, including the team's preseason opener. The former third-round pick out of Wake Forest simply cannot stay healthy, and the Bengals should cut their losses and move on.
WR Onterio McCalebb
After failing to make a dent his first two years in the league as a cornerback, Onterio McCalebb moved to receiver this year in hopes of making the 53-man roster. Injuries have limited him in camp though, and even when healthy, he's shown nothing to suggest he's more deserving of a roster spot over the likes of Jake Kumerow, Mario Alford or even Greg Little.
WR Desmond Lawrence
With so many receivers on the roster, there's probably going to be two or three cut in the first wave alone. Desmond Lawrence has actually shown flashes of being a good receiver in training camp after being signed just prior to the first day of camp. He may even be a candidate for the practice squad, but he hasn't done enough to warrant being in consideration for the 53-man roster beyond the first wave of cuts.
DE Sam Montgomery
Against the Giants, Sam Montgomery played in just 18 snaps and still managed to have one of the worst defensive PFF scores (-1.2). The former third-round pick simply isn't giving the team enough to warrant a roster spot going forward. His talent and familiarity with the team may lead to him being on the practice squad later, but he's not going to make the final 53-man roster.
S Erick Dargan
In the Bengals' preseason opener, Erick Dargan played in just eight snaps. This is the game where the fringe roster players play the most, and Dargan being on the field for so few snaps shows how crowded the safety position group is. Dargan was a talented safety coming out of Oregon, so he may make it onto the Bengals' or another team's practice squad at some point.
S Floyd Raven
As little as Dargan played, Floyd Raven played even less against the Giants, getting just four snaps. Raven has rarely seen the field in training camp and simply hasn't done enough to remain on the roster beyond the first wave of cuts.
DT Kalafitoni Pole
The defensive line is far too crowded right now for Kalafitoni Pole to remain on the roster. He's rarely been on the field in training camp to get reps and didn't even play a down during the preseason opener.
DE Kwame Geathers
As mentioned above, defensive line is a crowded position and there's going to be several cuts here during the first wave. Kwame Geathers has spent time on the practice squad and is the brother of long-time Bengal Robert Geathers. That's not enough to get him onto the final roster, and he likely will end up being among the first wave of cuts.
OL Dan France
This was one of the hardest cuts to project. Dan France spent last year on the Bengals practice squad after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State. He performed well in last year's preseason (-0.1 PFF grade in 79 snaps) and did ok against the Giants (-0.8 PFF grade in 69 snaps)
Still, with so many lineman on the roster, there's probably going to be at least 2-3 cut during the first wave. France should end up being among them, but could getsigned to the practice squad if another team doesn't pick him up.
Other cuts to get to 75:
LB Trevor Roach
TE Matt Lengel
C Jake Smith
WR Tevin Reese
TE John Peters