The Cincinnati Bengals will have the same starting defensive line from a season ago but what will the depth behind those starters look like?
Sam Hubbard signed an extension before the 2021 season so he's tied to Cincinnati for the long term. D.J. Reader is entering the final year of his contract and he's someone the team should try their best to keep past 2023 if possible. B.J. Hill has two years remaining on his deal and Trey Hendrickson is halfway through his original four-year deal.
The depth behind these guys will likely grow in the draft as they try to add help in stopping the run and getting after the quarterback but what does it look like now? Let's take a look at the Bengals defensive line depth chart.
Bengals starting defensive line
LDE: Sam Hubbard
NT: D.J. Reader
DT: B.J. Hill
RDE: Trey Hendrickson
This will be the starting lineup unless injuries occur.
Hubbard, a former third-round pick out of Ohio State, cemented himself as a Bengals legend this past postseason when he took a fumble recovery all the way down the field for what some are calling "The Rumble in the Jungle".
Reader signed with the team in the 2020 offseason and after battling injuries that year, he's proven himself to be an excellent piece of this d-line, posting an overall PFF grade of 87.3.
Hill was brought in as a trade acquisition from the Giants during the summer of 2021 and became the perfect fit for the Bengals defense. He re-signed with Cincinnati last offseason and proved he earned the contract this past season.
Hendrickson had a massive season in New Orleans in 2020 and that led to the Bengals signing him to a four-year deal in the 2021 offseason. Some thought he might have been a one-season wonder but he proved that wasn't true with a 14-sack performance in 2021. His sacks were down in 2022 but he still played incredibly well.
Bengals backup defensive linemen
LDE: Cam Sample, Jeff Gunter, Owen Carney
NT: Josh Tupou, Domenique Davis
DT: Zach Carter, Jay Tufele
RDE: Joseph Ossai, Tarell Basham, Raymond Johnson III
This is definitely subject to change between now and the end of the draft but let's take a look at each of these players. The Bengals drafted Sample, Gunter, Carter, and Ossai but the rest either went undrafted or were brought in from other teams.
Basham was signed this offseason as a rotational piece and Carney was signed to a Reserve/Futures contract earlier this year but the rest of the players here spent time with the Bengals last season either on the active roster or on the practice squad.
How much will this depth chart change after the draft?