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Will Raymond Johnson III make the Bengals roster?

A preseason standout, Johnson has an uphill battle due to the Bengals’ depth at defensive end.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Commanders Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have some tough decisions to make after the final preseason game this year. One of the toughest decisions will be what to do with the defensive line, as they have had several players take a step forward or emerge this preseason.

One of the biggest names is Raymond Johnson III, who finished the preseason with eight total pressures in 54 pass-rushing snaps.

Against Washington, Johnson had a batted pass on a fourth-down attempt, then had a sack late in the fourth quarter to force a punt.

Pro Football Focus gave Johnson a 90.7 grade for his three-game preseason performance this year.

Johnson played at Georgia Southern in college and declared in 2021, going undrafted and signing with the New York Giants. He played in 15 games with the Giants but wasn’t particularly productive. He eventually was cut and then signed with the Bengals before spending all of 2022 on the practice squad.

After that year, however, Johnson has seemingly turned a corner this preseason, producing in all three games and shining every chance he got. The issue is the guys ahead of him, Hendrickson, Hubbard, Murphy, and Ossai were all locks coming into the season, and Cam Sample has been doing very well this year too.

With five guys seemingly secured ahead of him, Johnson faces a very uphill battle to make the roster, as it may be tough to carry six defensive ends with the talent the Bengals have. Even if they carry six defensive ends, Johnson is competing with Jeff Gunter, whom the Bengals did use draft capital on (seventh round) in 2022.

Do you think the Bengals carry six defensive ends, and Johnson grabs that last spot? Let us know in the poll below and in the comments section!

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