Bengals Roster: Mike Clay of ESPN says these positions are the weak link

Leigh Oleszczak
Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals roster might be one of the best in the league but not every position is a strength. Two, in fact, are viewed as weaknesses. 

This time last year, Cincinnati Bengals fans were used to seeing their team’s roster ranked near the bottom in the majority of lists. After a surprise run to the Super Bowl that resulted in the team beating the Raiders, Titans, and Chiefs in the postseason, however, the stripes have their best roster in ages.

Mike Clay of ESPN concurs in his unit grades, which he recently updated from earlier this offseason. In his latest update, Clay gave the Bengals the fifth-strongest overall roster score with 2.9. Anything above or close to 3.0 is impressive and anything under 2.0 means the position isn’t looked upon fondly.

For the Bengals, two positions were given a grade under 2.0. They were the tight ends (1.3) and linebackers (1.6).

Bengals Roster: TE and LB not looked at favorably

Tight ends isn’t a huge surprise, as the Bengals lost C.J. Uzomah in free agency and signed Hayden Hurst to replace him. Hurst has had one decent season since being a first-round pick in 2018 but last year he was outperformed by fourth-overall pick Kyle Pitts. Behind Hurst on the depth chart is Drew Sample and he’s done very little during his time in the league.

Linebacker is a little surprising to see ranked so low, as Logan Wilson really came into his own last year and Germaine Pratt played well too. The linebackers weren’t getting much respect entering last season but they played way better than many expected them to.

As much as the cornerback position has been scrutinized this offseason, that unit received a 2.1 score, meaning it’s in the middle of the pack. Clay clearly believes more in Eli Apple and the rookies than others do.

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What do you think about these so-called weaknesses on the Bengals roster? Do you agree that these are weak spots for the stripes?

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