3 Bengals who need a better showing in Week 2 of preseason

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle D’Ante Smith (70) – Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Bengals who need to show something – No. 1: D’Ante Smith

If you would have asked somebody after the draft which offensive lineman would be pushing for playing time in their rookie year, most people would have said Jackson Carman was the guy.

Taken in the second round, out of a university known for producing capable offensive linemen, Carman seemed to be the heir apparent for the Bengals. Instead of fixing the offensive line issues, Carman has struggled throughout camp and found himself as a third-string option on the Bengals’ depth chart.

The player instead who has really impressed is D’Ante Smith, another rookie, but taken two rounds after Carman.

Smith had a good first preseason game where he spent time at both tackle and guard. Rather than needing a good second performance to turn things around, Smith could benefit from a strong game against Washington to see if he can push for a starting role.

The Bengals entered the 2021 season knowing that the offensive line was a weakness for the team and an area that needed to improve. A few moves were made, but adding a difference-maker was something Cincinnati did not do.

Smith could take advantage of a weaker starting unit by progressing quickly to earn a starting spot. At the very least, a solid performance in this game would solidify his chances to be the go-to backup for both tackle and guard spots.

More. 5 Positives, 2 Negatives from Preseason Opener. light

These three Bengals have to show fans something when the team heads to our nation’s capital for a matchup on Friday night.