- Logan Wilson
- Germaine Pratt
- Akeem Davis-Gaither
- Joe Bachie
- Markus Bailey
The Bengals often run nickel with two linebackers in Wilson and Pratt, but the other three make the roster due to their immense special teams involvement. Each player has also stepped up when called upon.
Davis-Gaither plays spy when the Bengals face Lamar Jackson twice a year, Bachie would be a starter on most teams, and Bailey still has immense upside if given more snaps. The linebackers, along with wide receivers, are the most complete roster spot.
This is a far cry from the post-Burfict and Maualuga era when no one could tackle in the middle of the field. You can thank the 2020 draft for three-fifths of our current linebackers.
- Chidobe Awuzie
- Cam Taylor-Britt
- D.J. Turner
- Mike Hilton
- Jalen Davis
Awuzie had a really good year in 2021 but was injured midway through 2022. Taylor-Britt showed immense upside in his rookie campaign. Turner played with Dax Hill in college, and is the likely long-term successor to Awuzie should he go down again.
Hilton continues to play physically in the slot and is still one of the premier sacking cornerbacks. Davis has been solid when called upon, but look for Taylor-Britt and Turner to be the duo for years to come.
- Dax Hill
- Nick Scott
- Jordan Battle
- Michael Thomas
- Tycen Anderson
Hill was drafted in the first round of 2022 should the Bengals let Bell and Bates both walk, the Bengals’ worst nightmare. This became a reality after the Bengals' AFC Championship loss as both starting safeties joined rebuilding NFC teams.
However, there is a reason that Bengals defensive coordinator, Lou Anarumo, has been in the conversation for heading coaching jobs. Cincinnati’s mad scientist has been absolutely cooking the past two drafts. Considering he spent a first, two seconds, and third-round pick in 2022-23 drafts to retool their secondary, he means business.
Cincinnati is looking to get younger and cheaper in the secondary in particular, and Bengals fans should be excited about this. Battle has the skill sets and upside to surpass Nick Scott, and is already being noticed by players and coaches alike.
Anarumo might opt to give 2022 rookie and freak athlete, Tycen Anderson, more reps as well. I love this young secondary, and Anarumo is going to continue running with an extra safety on the field for numerous snaps.
Special Teams (3)
- Evan McPherson
- Brad Robbins
- Cal Adomitis
Even though a slight sophomore slump slowed down Evan McPherson, he is still a top-5 kicker in the league. The Bengals attempted to move from Huber to Chrisman the past couple of seasons, but spending a sixth-round pick on Robbins tells the NFL that Cincinnati has their new punter of the future, mustache or not. Adomitis is the heir apparent to Clark Harris, marking the official end of the Huber-Harris reign in Cincinnati.