An already-stacked Cincinnati Bengals roster improved even more this offseason. Pro Football Focus ranked their roster in the top 10 on their recent rankings of every NFL team.
Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus ranked every NFL roster and put the Cincinnati Bengals‘ roster at No. 8 on his list. That’s high praise for a team that won just four games in 2020 but who can blame him when this team showed that didn’t matter? They made it all the way to the Super Bowl this past season and were close to winning it all.
In his write-up, Linsey listed each team’s biggest strength, biggest weakness, and X-factor. His answer to the biggest strength for Cincinnati was obviously the passing game. He offered this analysis:
"Throwing to Chase alone in 2021, Burrow completed 15 of 34 attempts thrown 20-plus yards downfield with eight touchdown passes. That connection torched NFL defenses in the same way it did SEC defenses in 2019."
For biggest weakness, Linsey didn’t take the same path that most analysts have this offseason by saying the cornerback position. Instead, he went with the left guard position, something that hasn’t been discussed as much this offseason.
Jackson Carman is the favorite to win the starting left guard job but rookie Cordell Volson is a name to watch this summer. Here’s more from Linsey:
"Jackson Carman is the favorite to step into that role after earning a 54.2 PFF grade in 501 offensive snaps as a rookie. The last time he saw the field, Carman allowed six quarterback pressures in 20 pass-blocking snaps against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. Quality play at that position requires some projection entering 2022, whether it ends up being Carman or rookie Cordell Volson."
Lastly, Linsey says that the X-factor for the Bengals is second-round rookie Cam Taylor-Britt, who will be competing with Eli Apple for the starting CB2 job.
"Their second-round pick out of Nebraska, Cam Taylor-Britt, could push Apple for his starting spot. Taylor-Britt allowed a sub-80.0 passer rating on throws into his coverage in each of the past three seasons. He could make an impact for Cincinnati as a rookie."
It’s not surprising to see the Bengals this high on the rankings given how good they were last year and how most of that talent is returning. They also got better on the offensive line, which was easily their biggest weakness last year.
The seven teams ahead of them on the list are the Bills, Buccaneers, Chargers, Rams, Packers, Browns, and Eagles.