It’s that time of year again. The NFL Draft is over. New free agents have arrived. It’s time to look forward to next season. There are two burning questions: Who will make the final cut and be on the 53-man roster? And has the team improved since last season?
The Cincinnati Bengals took some serious blows in free agency, most notably the loss of both of their starting safeties. They also lost tight end Hayden Hurst, running back Samaje Perine, and cornerback Tre Flowers.
They did make some nice acquisitions, though. Who would have believed that they’d pull Orlando Brown Jr.? By doing so, they improved two positions. Brown solidifies the left tackle position for the next few seasons, and Jonah Williams is likely to shine at right tackle in the final year of his contract. I mean, seriously, when was the last time this team had a halfway decent right tackle? Who was the president? They aren’t the only ones who have had this problem. There is a serious lack of offensive tackle talent in the NFL, most of the good ones end up on the blindside. When you add in former second-round picks Jackson Carman and Cody Ford to compete and add depth, that’s some pretty impressive depth at a key position.
The Bengals also added Irv Smith, who is injury prone, but also a potential upgrade at tight end. The team loves newcomer Nick Scott at safety. They have also improved depth at other positions with the additions of defensive lineman, Tarell Basham, Sidney Jones IV at cornerback, and Trevor Siemian at quarterback.
Then came the draft, which added a ton of talent to the defensive side of the ball with Myles Murphy, D.J. Turner, and Jordan Battle. They also added some offensive playmakers in Chase Brown, Charlie Jones, and Andrei Iosivas.
So what does it all add up to? What will this team look like in the fall? Will they be even better in 2023 than they were in 2022 and 2021?