Bengals Roster: Super early 22-man starter projections for 2022

Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Starting QB: Joe Burrow

What, you thought I would say Brandon Allen?

The former Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is the Bengals’ locked-and-loaded starter for at least the next decade-and-a-half, God willing.

Joey Brr has the swagger and skill set that endears him to fans of just about every team in the NFL, and thank goodness he’s one of ours. He’s the leader of this team and the face of the NFL in the 2020s. He should propel the team to another playoff berth in 2022.

Given what he did behind a swiss cheese offensive line in 2021, can you imagine what his numbers will look like this season when he actually has time to throw the ball?

Starting RB: Joe Mixon

The Bengals did not bring in any competition for Joe Mixon in free agency or the draft, so he’s going to be relied upon as the bell cow again in 2022.

Samaje Perine will likely sprinkle in for blocking duties – here’s to hoping he’s not given the ball again in key situations like in last year’s playoffs – and Chris Evans will likely take on even more receiving work than he did last year, but by and large, this should be Mixon’s show.

He has true three-down ability and is smack dab in the middle of his prime entering his age-26 season. Given the Bengals’ improved offensive line, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he posted his first-ever 1,500-yard rushing season. His career-high was last year’s 1,205.