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, Jessie Bates (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Corner (6)- William Jackson III, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Darius Phillips, LeShaun Sims, Winston Rose

The corner position took a massive hit when Trae Waynes went down to injury. We’re still waiting to hear how long one of the Bengals’ star free-agent acquisitions will be sidelined. The initial speculation was that he would miss about two months, which would cause him to miss roughly the first four games of the season.

If a player is placed on injured reserve with the designation to return, they aren’t eligible to play again until week 9. For now, let’s assume Waynes avoids that list and makes it back after the first quarter of the season.

Darius Phillips, LeShaun Sims, and either Winston Rose or Tony Brown will be tasked with filling the void left by Waynes. The majority of the aforementioned players have shown a knack for generating turnovers and together, they are capable of keeping the unit afloat.

Once Waynes is back, look for the team to potentially drop either Sims or Rose in favor of an additional lineman.

Safety (4)- Jessie Bates III, Vonn Bell, Shawn Williams, Brandon Wilson

The safety position is right next to the defensive line in terms of strength. Jessie Bates III is on the brink of stardom and looks ready to take the next step in his career. Alongside him is Vonn Bell and Shawn Williams, who provide tremendous leadership and versatility. Rounding out the group is speedster Brandon Wilson, who primarily serves as an ace returner but has the skills necessary to make plays if called upon.

Specialists (3)- Kevin Huber, Ryan Bullock, Clark Harris

Nothing changes here for Cincinnati. Kevin Huber is still pinning teams inside the 10 and Clark Harris is still reliable. Bullock performed pretty well last year and without a significant threat on the horizon, he finds himself in stripes again for the 2020 campaign.

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