Now that the draft is over, let's first take a look at a recap of the Bengals offseason.
Offseason departures: QB Mike Kafka, HB Terrell Watson (to Browns), HB James Wilder Jr. (to Bills), WR Marvin Jones (to Lions), WR Mohamed Sanu (to Falcons), OT Andre Smith (to Vikings), DE Wallace Gilberry (to Lions), LB A.J. Hawk, LB Emmanuel Lamur (to Vikings), CB Leon Hall, CB Asa Jackson (to Cardinals), S Reggie Nelson (to Raiders)
Re-signings: WR Michael Bennett, WR Jake Kumerow, WR Brandon Tate, TE Matt Lengel, TE John Peters, OT Eric Winston, C/G T.J. Johnson, G Trey Hopkins, DT/NT Pat Sims, DT Brandon Thompson, LB Vincent Rey, CB Adam Jones, S George Iloka, S Floyd Raven
Draft picks in order: CB William Jackson III, WR Tyler Boyd, LB Nick Vigil, DT/NT Andrew Billings, G/C Christian Westerman, WR Cody Core, S Clayton Fejedelem
UDFA acquisitions: QB Matt Johnson, HB Tra Carson, HB Dy'Shawn Mobley, WR Alex Erickson, WR Antwane Grant, WR Alonzo Russell, OT Alex Cooper, OT John Weidenaar, DE Ryan Brown, DT David Dean, LB Darien Harris, CB Darius Hillary
Now, let's take a look at what the Bengals' 53-man opening-day roster might be. This is simply a prediction of who the Bengals will decide to keep (see: Tate, Brandon), not necessarily my own personal preference.
QB (2): Andy Dalton, AJ McCarron
WR (6): A.J. Green, Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd, Brandon Tate, James Wright, Cody Core (the coaches love Tate at returner, Burkhead and Wright back up Boyd at slot WR, Wright and Core back up the shaky LaFell at outside WR and also have good special teams coverage ability, thus leaving Mario Alford off)
S (4): George Iloka, Shawn Williams, Derron Smith, Clayton Fejedelem
ST (3): P Kevin Huber, K Mike Nugent, LS Clark Harris
PUP: Brandon Thompson
Suspended: Vontaze Burfict, Taylor Mays
PS (limit of 10): QB Matt Johnson, HB Tra Carson, WR Mario Alford, WR Alonzo Russell, OT Alex Cooper, TE Matt Lengel, DE Ryan Brown, DT DeShawn Williams, S Floyd Raven, HB Dy'Shawn Mobley (this practice squad assumes that none of these guys gets claimed and that the Bengals claim no one else, which could be wrong)
Not retained in the organization: QB Keith Wenning, HB Bronson Hill, WR Michael Bennett, WR Alex Erickson, WR Antwane Grant, WR Jake Kumerow, TE John Peters, OT Darryl Baldwin, OT John Weidenaar, G Trey Hopkins, DE Dezmond Johnson, DT David Dean, LB Jayson DiManche, LB Darien Harris, LB Jeff Luc, LB Trevor Roach, CB Chykie Brown, CB Darius Hillary, CB Frankie Williams, K Zach Hocker
Feel free to post any comments below. The most difficult decision was cutting speedster Mario Alford, but it came down to 1) the coaches' enduring love for Brandon Tate at returner, 2) the second -round investment of Tyler Boyd primarily for the slot with Rex Burkhead being his backup, 3) the questionable ability of Brandon LaFell at outside WR and the depth James Wright and Cody Core can provide behind him, 4) the great flashes Wright has shown in real NFL games, and 5) Wright and Core's ability to tackle on special teams coverage.