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Bengals hold strong in ESPN’s NFL power rankings

A strong ranking after the free agency dust has settled.

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

March has been an absurd month for the NFL. Perhaps the craziest free agency period in league history has finally subsided, but the landscape of the league has forever been changed.

In their post-free agency power rankings, ESPN has the Cincinnati Bengals fifth in the NFL after they solidified their offensive line. Here’s team reporter Ben Baby’s take on the team’s offseason thus far:

Cincinnati did all the hard work during the early portion of free agency. The Bengals revamped their offensive line, added tight end Hayden Hurst and re-signed cornerback Eli Apple and defensive tackle B.J. Hill, two reasons the defense was so good in 2021. Now, it’s about finding some quality depth. Among the Bengals’ needs: WR, CB, FS and SS. If Cincinnati can find those guys, the roster — fresh off a Super Bowl appearance — will be in much better shape than it was in 2021.

Cincinnati remains behind the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in that order. They were fifth in ESPN’s initial offseason power rankings as well.

As the reigning AFC Champions, the Bengals have earned respect heading into the 2022 season. The vast majority of their roster remains intact after reaching Super Bowl 56, and they undoubtedly improved their weakest position group. To Baby’s point, depth is the final frontier for them to conquer. Along with wide receiver, cornerback, and safety, they could use a few more defensive tackles and interior offensive linemen as well.

The upcoming NFL Draft will see the Bengals address these needs, but there’s still some time to sign a couple more free agents. Re-signing players such as Quinton Spain and Tre Flowers shouldn’t be off the table either, but those moves may occur after the draft if they happen at all.

Where would the Bengals be placed in your power rankings? Let us know in the comments!