7 Bengals we hope play well vs Packers in preseason opener

  • QB2 love
  • Backup OT
  • Rookie first-rounder
  • RB competing for roster spot
  • Seventh-round rookie
  • Former third-round pick
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) throws a pas during the Cincinnati Bengals fan
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) throws a pas during the Cincinnati Bengals fan / Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Zach Carter

In the 2021 draft, the Bengals selected Florida defensive lineman Zach Carter in the third round. Now with a season under his belt, can the defensive tackle become the penetrating three-tech threat that the Bengals envisioned him being when they drafted him?

Last year, Carter played in 16 games, recording 23 tackles, half a sack, and one tackle for loss. While there will be a lot of eyes on this year’s first-round selection, last year’s third-round pick could be equally impactful. The worst pressure for a quarterback to face is from up the middle. If Carter can become a consistent threat in that area, it would improve the Bengals’ pass rush immensely. 

In his last season at Florida, Carter recorded 7.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss while rotating between defensive end and defensive tackle. Those numbers compare favorably to Myles Murphy’s 6.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 40 tackles in his final year at Clemson. If fans hope Murphy can help Lou Anarumo’s pass rush, there is no reason not to anticipate Carter doing the same in his second season. 

If Carter shows flashes when lined up opposite what should be a formidable Green Bay offensive line, that could spark even more excitement about how excellent the Bengals' defense could become this season.  


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Ultimately, we want to see all the players who play in the first preseason game against the Packers succeed but when stakes are involved, everything gets ratcheted up to new heights. Even if it’s a “meaningless” preseason game for some, it could mean everything to someone else. 

These players playing well could have a major impact on roster construction for the team going forward into the 2023 NFL season.