With the draft and a large bulk of free agency over with, it's time for teams to start working on their depth charts for the upcoming season and decide who will start at what positions. Some are obvious, for example, the quarterback is usually not too hard to determine, especially if you are the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, and any other team with an All-Pro caliber quarterback.
However, other positions may not be as clear, and that's where you get 'position battles'. Put simply, position battles are when-- usually during training camp-- the two (or three or four) players at one position who all have realistic shots at being the #1 guy on the depth chart will try to prove themselves through practice to earn that starting role.
So, with that being said, here are a few intriguing position battles for the Bengals during the 2023 off-season.
Okay, I know what you're thinking reading this: Joe Mixon has already been named the starter for 2023, there is no position battle. And you're right, there is no fight for first at the HB position in Cincy. Second, however, is a different story.
RB2, whoever it has been, has played a significant role in the offense the last couple of years for the Bengals. And now, with Samaje Perine having moved on to Denver, the job is up for grabs. Freshly-picked former Illinois back Chase Brown is currently listed as the next man up off the depth chart, according to ESPN, but realistically there are three guys who have a chance at the RB2 spot.
There's rookie Chase Brown, as I mentioned above, but there's also Chris Evans, who many fans-- including myself-- have been clamoring for the coaching staff to give more opportunities. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon, if ever, but there is a chance he impresses enough during training camp to leapfrog up both Brown and the last candidate. Not a great one, but still a chance nonetheless.
This brings us to said last candidate, Trayveon Williams, who not only took Evans' spot on the depth chart at running back late last season but also won kick-returning roles over him. For whatever reason, Chris Evans keeps mysteriously slipping down the depth chart and getting less time, so Williams, who was drafted by Cincy back in 2019 in the sixth round, probably has a higher chance of winning that second spot on the depth chart than Evans does.
Also worth mentioning is the two UDFA (undrafted free agents) they signed at the position, those being Jacob Saylors from East Tennessee State and Calvin Tyler Jr. from Utah State. While it's a long shot, there's always the chance they turn out to be huge steals and climb up the depth chart, so keep an eye out for them as well.