Defensive Line (10)
Trey Hendrickson, B.J. Hill, D.J. Reader, Sam Hubbard, Khalid Kareem, Zachary Carter, Josh Tupou, Cam Sample, Joseph Ossai, Wyatt Hubert
Last year, the defensive line was a focal point of the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive success, with three linemen totaling five sacks or more (Hendrickson 13.5, Hill 5.5, and Hubbard 7.5).
Trey Hendrickson, B.J. Hill, Sam Hubbard, and D.J. Reader will have the highest usage, but Cincinnati loves to rotate defensive linemen. They scheme and adjust to who is having success, who is running the ball, the quarterback they are playing against, and the certain sets they may be in. Khalid Kareem, Cameron Sample, and Josh Tupou saw a lot of action last year and that probably doesn’t change in 2022.
Those three are almost certain locks to make the roster. Taking more than 10 is probably not likely, but for the last three bodies, Joseph Ossai should have no worries about making it. He will be one of the more slept-on players for this defense.
Ossai was drafted in the third round last season out of Texas but had a season-ending injury in camp. For the small sample size, fans saw he was making plays in practice and in the first preseason game, he had a solo sack on Tom Brady. Ossai has a very high motor and can be used in many schemes.
The final two I have making it are rookie Zachary Carter and second-year player Wyatt Hubert, who, like Ossai, suffered a season-ending injury before the season started last year.
Those 10 shouldn’t have much trouble making it if the Bengals do indeed take 10 on the roster. If they decide to keep one or two more, you could see a guy like Jeffery Gunter get a shot. Although, expect Gunter to start the year on the practice squad.