Predicting the Bengals’ 53-man roster shows major improvement

Shawn Williams (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Shawn Williams (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Michael Jordan (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals roster predictions: The offensive line

Offensive line (8)- Jonah Williams, Michael Jordan, Trey Hopkins, Xavier Su’a Filo, Fred Johnson, Bobby Hart, Hakeem Adeniji, Billy Price

The competition in camp for offensive linemen is more about who cracks the starting lineup rather than who makes the roster. Barring any injuries or unforeseen events, fans can feel pretty confident that the trenches will consist of this group of players.

Jonah Williams and Trey Hopkins essentially have their spots among the starting five secured but the other three positions will see fierce battles.

Chief among them is the fight to start at right tackle. The coaching staff and team seem to really like what Bobby Hart brings to the table but fans and analysts have long been pounding the table for Cincinnati to find a replacement.

The world got a glimpse of that potential replacement at the end of last season when Fred Johnson was placed into the starting lineup. The mammoth tackle (6’7, 325 lbs.) flashed potential that has the orange and black faithful optimistic about his future. If that level of play continues, he and Williams could represent the long-term solution for protecting Burrow.

It’s dangerous to only keep eight offensive linemen around to start the season, but with Trae Waynes’ injury, the team will need to keep an additional defensive back around until he can return. They pulled off a similar move just last season.

Once Waynes returns, however, they could attempt to resign a veteran like Alex Redmond (if he doesn’t find a new home) or bring up a guy like Josh Knipfel from the practice squad.

The other option is to cut numbers at the linebacker position, but that would mean moving on from a talented player that would be able to contribute on special teams. Cutting the ninth lineman on the team hurts the depth, but if you’re playing the ninth-best guy, something with the unit as a whole would have to go terribly wrong anyways.