The Cincinnati Bengals played their second preseason game on Friday night, this time on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. After four quarters, the two teams finished the game tied at 13. This week, we saw the defensive starters at the very beginning of the game, and we got our first look at Jonah Williams at right tackle.
The defense looked really good, but once again, the offense struggled. Now that two preseason games are in the books, here’s my updated prediction on the final 53-man roster.
Quarterback: Joe Burrow, Jake Browning (2)
Neither Browning nor Trevor Siemian have looked good, but Browning outplayed Siemian on Friday night. If cutdown day was today, I would expect the team to lean towards Browning. However, they may feel their best bet is to look outside of the organization at this point.
Running back: Joe Mixon, Trayveon Williams, Chase Brown, Chris Evans (4)
The last time I did this, I didn’t have Evans making the final roster. However, after two straight games without Joe Mixon and without Trayveon Williams, Evans has looked pretty good. He’s done surprisingly well as a pass protector and as a runner. We already know what he can do in the passing game.
I think he makes the team this year and, dare I say, actually gets on the field.
Wide Receiver: Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Trenton Irwin, Charlie Jones, Andrei Iosivas (6)
No changes here. The big three are in. Irwin is WR4 (for now), Jones makes the team for sure, and Iosivas does as well at this point, considering how well he’s played so far this preseason.
The only change here is Stanley Morgan Jr. doesn’t make the cut. He’s great on special teams, but Iosivas, Irwin, and Jones can play special teams as well. Unfortunately, since Evans is going to make it, cuts have to be made elsewhere.
Tight End: Irv Smith Jr., Drew Sample, Mitchell Wilcox, Tanner Hudson (4)
No changes here. Wilcox has been activated off PUP, and as long as Hudson clears concussion protocols, he’ll make the team. Honestly, I think we’ve seen enough from him that he separates himself from the rest of the group, including veteran Devin Asiasi, who I think gets cut.
Offensive Line: Orlando Brown Jr., Cordell Volson, Ted Karras, Alex Cappa, Jonah Williams, Max Scharping, D’Ante Smith, Trey Hill, Jackson Carman, Cody Ford (10)
The five starters are locked, and since Max Scharping is taking snaps at multiple spots on the line I’ll say he’s a lock too. I also think Trey Hill and Cody Ford are going to be locks. This leaves us with the offensive tackle position. D’Ante Smith and Jackson Carman are both competing for the swing tackle spot. I think they both make it, and one gets cut once La’el Collins is activated. Everyone else is cut, including Jaxson Kirkland and Hakeem Adeniji. This is one more lineman than I had last time. Another cut will have to be made, likely Cody Ford, who is now in the concussion protocol and has gotten dangerously close to the cut line.
Defensive Line: Trey Hendrickson, D.J. Reader, B.J. Hill, Sam Hubbard, Joseph Ossai, Cam Sample, Myles Murphy, Zach Carter, Jay Tufele (9)
This stays the same for the most part. The starting four are locks, as are Ossai, Murphy, Carter, and Sample. I had Josh Tupou making the team last week, but that spot belongs to Tufele now.
Something to remember in that Tufele vs. Tupou battle: Tupou is 29 years old compared to Tufele being 24. Tufele also has two years left on his deal, while Tupou is entering the final year of his deal. These are the kinds of little details that can be critical in deciding a close battle like this, even if Tupou is probably a better player right now.
Linebackers: Germaine Pratt, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Joe Bachie, Markus Bailey (5)
This hasn’t changed. Pratt and Wilson are obvious locks. ADG would start for most teams, so he’s a lock. Bachie and Bailey are quality backups and important special teams players. They’re locks.
Cornerbacks: Chidobe Awuzie, Cam Taylor-Britt, Mike Hilton, DJ Turner, Jalen Davis, D.J. Ivey (6)
The Bengals started Turner, their second-round pick from this year, over Sidney Jones on Friday, and I think that makes it pretty clear that the team is comfortable with their rookie. I think Jones gets cut, and the Bengals keep the six corners listed above. Everyone else is let go.
Safety: Dax Hill, Nick Scott, Jordan Battle, Tycen Anderson (4)
Hill, Scott, and Battle are all locks. This was always going to come down to Anderson or the veteran Michael Thomas. Anderson’s upside is clear, and while I absolutely hate the idea of cutting Thomas, I think it happens. Hopefully, he would clear waivers and come back on the practice squad, but who knows.
Anderson has shown too much to pass up on.
Specialists: Evan McPherson (K), Brad Robbins (P), Cal Adomitis (LS) (3)
No change here.
Who do you think will make the final 53 now that the second preseason game is in the books?
Let us know in the comments.