Cincinnati Bengals Starting Lineup if NFL Season Opened Today

Jan 7, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals center Kyle Cook (64) points against the Houston Texans during the first quarter of the 2011 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US Presswire

 

 

We’re bow just a 1 month away from the Cincinnati Bengals opening training camp, and it’s never too early to project what the starting lineup will look like if the season began today. With a full offseason of free agency, the NFL Draft, workouts, minicamps, and other various activities, this is how we believe the starting lineup would shape out if they had to play a game today:

 

Offense

QB: Andy Dalton

RB: BenJarvus Green-Ellis

FB/H-back: Orson Charles

WR: A.J. Green

TE: Jermaine Gresham

LT: Andrew Whitworth

LG: Clint Boling

C: Kyle Cook

RG: Kevin Zeitler

RT: Andre Smith

WR: Mohamed Sanu

 

Defense

LDE: Carlos Dunlap

DT: Domata Peko

DT: Geno Atkins

RDE: Michael Johnson

WLB: Vontaze Burfict

MLB: Rey Maualuga

SLB: James Harrison

LCB: Adam Jones or Terence Newman

FS: Reggie Nelson

SS: Shawn Williams

RCB: Leon Hall

 

 

Special teams

K: Mike Nugent

P: Kevin Huber

LS: Clark Harris

KR: Brandon Tate, Adam Jones

PR: Adam Jones

 

Observations

*Kyle Cook will barely beat out Trevor Robinson for the starting center spot. While Robinson was clearly more effective last year, Cook was never 100% after an ankle injury during the preseason cost him most of the 2012 season. Look for Cook to get the starting nod on opening day.

*The only rookie to crack the starting lineup will be Shawn Williams, and that won’t be necessarily because he’s that good, but Taylor Mays, Jeromy Miles and George Iloka don’t pose much of a threat.

*Orson Charles is already being compared to current Oakland Raider Marcel Reece, and could be the latest hybrid fullback/tight end in a league where the traditional FB is being replaced in favor of more versatile players like Charles.

*Despite being rated the worst NFL linebacker by Pro Football Focus in 2012, it appears as though Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis are hell-bent on giving Rey Maualuga that starting MLB role. That’s sad, because he’s the one thing preventing this defense from being potentially the best in the NFL.

 

Of course, how the Bengals draft can easily change theses plans, but given the roster stands now, this is the lineup I’d expect to see take the field if a game were being played today. What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below or hit us up on Twitter and let us know.

 

 

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Topics: 2013 NFL Season Preview, Cincinnati Bengals

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