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Bengals 53-Man Roster Rankings: WRs Headline 30-16

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BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes with the ball after making a catch in front of cornerback Brandon Carr #24 and free safety Eric Weddle #32 of the Baltimore Ravens to score the game winning touchdown at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes with the ball after making a catch in front of cornerback Brandon Carr #24 and free safety Eric Weddle #32 of the Baltimore Ravens to score the game winning touchdown at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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26. Michael Johnson, DE

Johnson and Hubbard are back to back, and for good reason. Johnson should hand the baton off to Hubbard this season, but Johnson still has the edge over Hubbard for now. The Bengals listed Johnson as a starting DE for this season, so he should still be heavily involved. Johnson could also bump over to defensive tackle in certain sets. Although he is definitely past his prime, Johnson will still have a positive impact on the field and in the locker room.

25. Clayton Fejedelem, S

Fejedelem has really burst onto the scene for the Bengals this season, topping it off by being named a captain for the 2018 season. One of the clearest implications of the release of George Iloka was the team’s confidence in Fejedelem as the third safety. He’s a strong tackler with good field awareness, making him a strong backup to Shawn Williams. Fejedelem is also a special teams warrior, performing as one of the best special teamers on the Bengals.

24. Nick Vigil, LB

Vigil is definitely not my favorite player, but he is undeniably a starter on this team at SLB. His stats were better than his actual performance last season, but Vigil is at least a known quantity. With Vontaze Burfict missing four games, the Bengals will rely upon Vigil as a rock for this linebacker corps. He needs to improve on his mistakes, but Vigil is certainly reliable, if nothing else.

23. Jessie Bates, S

I have been outspoken about how much I liked the selection of Jessie Bates in the second round. He’s going to be a real asset for the Bengals in the years to come. However, there will be some growing pains as he starts from Week 1. Bates has phenomenal field awareness and coverage skills, but he needs to improve on his tackling and aggressiveness. Teryl Austin will certainly want Bates to hunt down a few more interceptions as he continues to develop.

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