Week in Review: Bengals Positional Grades: After the Preseason

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Wide Receiver/Tight End

The Bengals WR corps is interesting. On talent alone, they are as good as anybody, with size, speed, and athleticism. While they’re long on ability, though, they’re very short on experience. A.J. Green is the star here, and in one short year, has become one of the league’s most exciting players. He will be on highlight reels for years to come. After him, it’s anybody’s guess. Brandon Tate has the most experience, but has never been a starting WR. Armon Binns has shown a lot of ability in camp and preseason, but was an undrafted free agent, cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and hasn’t played an NFL game yet. Rookies Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu are highly thought of as well, but are in their first season, and might not have the trust of the coaches yet. Andrew Hawkins is a fan-favorite who will find a lot of ways to get the ball, including the return game. The TE group should be very good, with Jermaine Gresham primed for a breakout season, and veteran Donald Lee providing a solid presence behind him. The group is very young, but should provide fans a lot of excitement. Final grade: B

Offensive Line

The Bengals upgraded the line in the offseason by replacing Nate Livings, who had fallen out of favor, with Travelle Wharton, and by drafting Kevin Zeitler at the guard positions. Andrew Whitworth has been a stalwart for the Bengals at left tackle, with Andre Smith improving rapidly. Center Kyle Cook has detractors, but isn’t all that bad. The preseason, however, was hard on this unit. Wharton was injured for the season, and Cook also has a serious injury. Clint Boling will likely fill the left guard hole, and has looked decent. The bigger concern so far has been Whitworth, who has been susceptible to the pass rush, especially when he’s been forced to shift his weight. If this remains an issue, it could be a long season in Cincinnati. Final Grade B-

 

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Tags: AJ Green Andrew Whitworth Andy Dalton Carlos Dunlap Geno Atkins Leon Hall Mike Nugent Thomas Howard

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