ICYMI: Breaking down the Bengals Roster and Opening Day 53

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After another exciting NFL draft, the dust has settled and 254 college players made their way to NFL teams, not counting the undrafted college free agents looking to catch on with a team.  With 10 draft picks and college free agent signings by the team, the Bengals roster will have around 94 players that will eventually turn into a 53 man roster. At some positions, it should be really competitive and you can bet that teams will be eyeing the Bengals cut down days because some good players will not make this roster.   Here is my take on what will be the final 53 in September:


Quarter back (2): Andy Dalton, John Skelton

Let’s hope that the team only keeps two at quarterback which allows them to keep one more at another position.  Skelton’s experience will make the decision a little easier.   I would have like to seen Sean Renfree from Duke picked in the seventh but I think the team could be done adding quarterbacks.

Running back (5): BJGE, Giovanni Bernard, Cedric Peerman, Rex Burkhead, Chris Pressley

Do they go with two rookies in the backfield?  I think maybe so because Rex Burkhead can be used in several ways, and could be the 3rd down back of the future.  I hate leaving Boom Herron off the list because he showed real promise on special teams last year, but he doesn’t return kicks and isn’t known as a pass catcher. 

Nov 03, 2012; Starkville, MS, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Cobi Hamilton (11) advances the ball for extra yards after the catch during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver (6): AJ Green, Mohammad Sanu, Marvin Jones, Andrew Hawkins, Cobi Hamilton, Ryan Whalen.

I think they only go six here because a kick returner at another position might fill Tate’s spot and Eifert will assume some receiver roles.  In my opinion, keeping Tate on the roster as just kick returner is not the greatest use of a roster spot.  Don’t sleep on RB Onterio McCaleb making the switch to WR and becoming the KR/PR.  He also worked out at DB as well and may start there first.  McCaleb would provide some needed speed and elusiveness on kick returns.  Ryan Whalen keeps hanging around and it would have been nice to get him some snaps last year, but they know what they have in him as a player and he can play special teams as well. Whoever the final WR is, they will have to be big on special teams to stick.

Tight End (4): Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert, Alex Smith, Orlson Charles

It was apparent that the team wanted to upgrade the TE position and they did in a big way with the drafts best tight end Tyler Eifert.  I think internally the team knows that Jermaine Gresham is a good but not great player and Eifert is the heir apparent.  Orson Charles sticks in a TE/H-back role, however, I don’t know how much he will see the field.  I like the addition of Smith, as an experienced veteran and good blocker, he could take over the Roland role in jumbo packages.