Cincinnati Bengals: Safety depth chart after 2021 NFL Draft

Leigh Oleszczak
HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: Cornerback William Jackson #22 and free safety Jessie Bates #30 of the Cincinnati Bengals breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Chad Hansen #17 of the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: Cornerback William Jackson #22 and free safety Jessie Bates #30 of the Cincinnati Bengals breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Chad Hansen #17 of the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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There might not be a position on the Cincinnati Bengals‘ roster that’s more cut-and-dry than that of the safety position. It’s a good situation to be in and the Bengals can enter the season knowing who their premier safeties will be.

Here are all of the safeties listed on the Bengals’ official roster:

There aren’t any question marks for the Cincinnati Bengals at the safety position.

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Bates and Bell will be the two starters and that’s pretty easy to determine. Bates has been terrific since the Bengals spent a second-round pick on him in the 2018 NFL Draft, recording over 100 tackles in all three seasons and also hauling in three picks each year as well, giving him nine total interceptions for his career.

Bell is entering year No. 2 with the Bengals after playing for the Saints for the first four years of his career. The former Buckeye had 114 tackles last season while deflecting five passes and forcing three fumbles. He started all 16 games and gives the Bengals the reliability they need at the position.

Following those two, Allen and Wilson will serve as the reserves. Allen was signed this offseason after spending the first seven years of his career with the Falcons. He had two interceptions last year and defended five passes for Atlanta.

Wilson is known primarily as being an electric return specialist but he gets in on the action on defense too. He’ll make the roster because of what he provides on special teams.

As for Henderson, he’s appeared in eight games over the last two seasons. The Bengals signed him as a UDFA out of Hawaii following the 2019 NFL Draft and while he might not make the 53-man roster, Cincinnati will likely stash him on the practice squad.

Unlike the other positions, the Bengals know what safety is going to look like. They signed Bell to be a reliable force as a starter and to pair with Bates, who has shown star qualities during his three years in Cincinnati. Allen was signed as a depth piece and he was a nice player for Atlanta over the past seven years. Wilson is more known for what he can do on special teams but he’s a valuable member of this team.

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Safety is easily the least dramatic position on the team because there shouldn’t be much competition at all this summer. Henderson is obviously going to prove he deserves to make the team but unless he has an amazing training camp and preseason, his likely destination will be the practice squad.

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