Starting NT: D.J. Reader
Reserves: Josh Tupou, Tyler Shelvin
Returning for year three at the nose tackle spot is D.J. Reader, who, after missing a portion of his inaugural season in Cincy due to injury, showed why he was worthy of bringing in this past season. Reader finished the season with 43 tackles, seven QB hits, three tackles for loss, and two sacks through 15 games. He had a PFF grade of 80.8 so yes, he was a key piece upfront for the stripes’ defense.
Behind Reader are Josh Tupou and Tyler Shelvin, who were both on the roster last year as well.
Tupou appeared in all 17 games and notched 12 tackles and one QB hit. He hit free agency this offseason but the Bengals brought him back because of what a valuable depth piece he ended up being for this unit.
Shelvin was a fourth-round pick in last year’s draft out of LSU. At 6’3″ and nearly 350 pounds, fans figured Shelvin would fit in just fine with the defense but the rookie barely saw any playing time, appearing in only three games and recording four tackles.
The nose tackle position looks to be another strong force on the Cincinnati d-line in 2022, assuming this group stays healthy.