Training Camp is here for the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL! A lot can and will happen, of course, between now and Sept. 12. For now, however, we must work with the information laid before us. So, here is a 53 man roster projection for the Bengals that will surely need to be revisited after the final preseason game, if not before.
Cincinnati Bengals 53-Man Roster
Offensive Line (10): Jonah Williams, Jackson Carmen, Trey Hopkins, Quinton Spain, Riley Reiff, Fred Johnson, Xavier Su’a-Filo, Lamont Gaillard, Michael Jordan, D’Ante Smith
The 10th spot here came down to Lamont Gaillard and Trey Hill. Lamont gets the nod here because of his experience, albeit limited. Last year, he started two games, played 217 snaps, committed two penalties, and allowed zero sacks.
The Bengals may try to get Hill to the practice squad. That’s assuming he does not make the roster over one of the other vets because of his potential to play both center and guard.
Running Back (4): Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine, Trayveon Williams, Chris Evans
Chalk. Mixon and Perine are locks, Williams has spent two years with the organization, and the Bengals didn’t spend a draft pick on Evans to not have him on their roster.
Tight End (3): C.J. Uzomah, Drew Sample, Thaddeus Moss
This is going to be a great battle to see who makes the final cut. Right now, the edge goes to Moss. While that is the case today, expect Pro Wells, Cheyenne O’Grady, Mason Schreck, and Mitchell Wilcox to all get chances and all to play well despite their lack of experience.
Quarterback (2): Joe Burrow, Brandon Allen
Chalk. There’s not even a need to dive deeper into this.
Wide Receiver (6): Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Ja’Marr Chase, Auden Tate, Mike Thomas, Stanley Morgan
Look for Morgan to maintain his roster spot because of contributions on special teams while Mike Thomas makes it over a host of other receivers. Scotty Washington was given long consideration because of his size and ability to make the tough grabs, à la Auden Tate.
The team may look for another punt return specialist during the preseason which could very well come in the form of a wide receiver. Perhaps that receiver is Riley Lees with his 7.1 yards per punt return at Northwestern. Maybe it could be Trent Taylor and his 9.6 in 3 yds/r with SF, although 49ers fans do not seem to be upset he is no longer with their team.
Defensive Back (10): Trae Waynes, Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, Darius Phillips, Eli Apple, Tony Brown, Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell, Brandon Wilson, Ricardo Allen
Defensive Line (9): Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, Joseph Ossai, Amani Bledsoe, D.J. Reader, Larry Ogunjobi, Tyler Shelvin, Mike Daniels, Freedom Akinmoladun
This will change depending on how serious the injury to Cam Sample is. Akinmoladun has a chance to make it based on his ability to play defensive end and defensive tackle.
Linebacker (6): Logan Wilson, Germaine Pratt, Jordan Evans, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Markus Bailey, Joe Bachie
This is more difficult to predict because we are still not sure how defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo will play all of his chess pieces.
If Ossai is indeed deployed primarily a defensive end, that could free up a spot at linebacker. Another wrench here is the injury to Cam Sample. We too will more than like be used as a linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle hybrid, when healthy. We should expect more 3-4 looks which will require a sixth linebacker, hence Bachie.
Kicker – Evan McPherson
Punter – Kevin Huber
Long Snapper – Clark Harris
These seem pretty set in stone. Maybe Drue Chrisman makes a run at the punting gig but Huber is probably going to win that battle considering his resumé.
Let’s see how training camp plays out and if the Bengals’ 53-man roster will look anything like this when it’s all said and done.