Four takeaways from the Cincinnati Bengals’ initial depth chart
The Bengals released their first depth chart on Tuesday, providing fans with a little more information about the team heading into the home opener.
The Cincinnati Bengals have released their first official depth chart of the 2020 season. Thanks to an unprecedented offseason that caused training camp to be closed to fans, the outside world has largely been left in the dark at a couple of key positions. Now, Whodey Nation can get some of the answers they’ve been looking for as we progress towards the home opener against the Chargers.
Vonn Bell over Shawn Williams
When the front office snatched Vonn Bell off the open market in free agency, it appeared to be largely a luxury signing. After all, the team already had two solid players patrolling the back end in Jessie Bates III and Shawn Williams.
It now appears that Bell will be inserted into the starting slot opposite of Bates. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after Williams missed a large portion of training camp due to injury. Rest assured, he’ll still play a large role, it just won’t be among the starting 11.
The young backers beat out Jordan Evans
For the first time in a long time, the Bengals have a plethora of potential and talent in their linebacker corps. With that, there were plenty of questions as to who would make the 53-man roster and how the depth chart would shake out.
Cincinnati clearly likes the early returns from this year’s third and fourth-round picks, Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither, as they are listed ahead of fourth-year linebacker Jordan Evans.
The depth chart signals that Wilson could be well on his way to contributing early and Evans should primarily play a special teams role.
Giovani Bernard may again be underutilized
There was a time that Giovani Bernard was one of the most exciting playmakers the Bengals had to offer, but that hasn’t been the case for several years now. With Joe Mixon securing a $48M payday, it suggests he’ll continue to receive the lions share of the carries and targets.
Many have suggested that Bernard should be utilized in the return game, an aspect he’s proved he can perform in during his collegiate days. Reports from training camp even indicated that he was fielding punts in practice.
However, it appears that was just a precautionary measure in case of injury. The depth chart doesn’t even mention him in regards to the return game for either punts or kickoffs.
The roster looks much improved overall
There weren’t really any surprises with Cincinnati’s initial depth chart. The squad panned out pretty much as many expected it would heading into training camp.
The new-look Bengals really reveal the work that the front office put in this offseason. Arguably every position group will be heavily improved from a year ago, a necessary development after a two-win season in 2019. The club should be much better equipped to compete and build a foundation for the future.