Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for D'Ante Smith in 2023

Aug 21, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals guard D'Ante Smith (70) prior to
Aug 21, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals guard D'Ante Smith (70) prior to / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals spent a fourth-round pick on D'Ante Smith in the 2021 NFL Draft. The East Carolina product has appeared in just three games since joining the Bengals two years ago.

As a rookie, Smith played just 50 snaps with 47 of those coming at left tackle. That came in the final game of the 2021 season where the starters were sitting out due to the Bengals not being able to advance in the playoff seedings. He finished the 2021 season with an overall PFF grade of 53.0.

After playing in 50 snaps as a rookie, Smith only played six snaps in year two with all of them coming as an extra blocker. He had a PFF grade of 48.2 for those six snaps.

What should Bengals fans expect from D'Ante Smith in 2023?

If we're being totally honest here, Smith is probably a potential cut candidate this summer. He currently projects as the third-string left tackle, sitting behind Orlando Brown Jr. and Jackson Carman for the job.

That means unless Smith has an incredible training camp and preseason, he's probably not making the team. If he does make the team, it's doubtful he's anything more than an emergency swing option.

Considering that Bengals fans have seen very little of Smith in regular-season games to this point, it's hard to imagine him becoming a key contributor moving forward. The Bengals probably are keeping five or maybe six backup options for the offensive line and Smith likely doesn't factor into that.

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Smith could, however, be a practice squad candidate. That means he could stick with the organization and be called up if the Bengals experience injuries on their o-line and need more depth pieces. The realistic expectation for Smith this year is as a practice squad member.