The Cincinnati Bengals lost both of their starting safeties in the 2023 offseason but what does the rest of their secondary look like as we inch closer to the 2023 NFL Draft?
With Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell both departing in the offseason, the Bengals were left to start new safeties in 2023. They signed Nick Scott in free agency and we already knew that Dax Hill would likely be filling in for Bates. That's why the team spent a first-round pick on him in last year's draft.
As for the cornerback position, the team still hasn't re-signed Eli Apple, as of this writing but did sign Sidney Jones IV as a depth piece. That's the only real change at cornerback to this point.
Bengals starting secondary
Cornerbacks: Chidobe Awuzie, Cam Taylor-Britt, Mike Hilton
Safeties: Nick Scott, Dax Hill
Awuzie and Hilton are both entering the final year of their contract so don't be surprised if Cincinnati drafts a cornerback or two to fill their voids. Taylor-Britt was taken in the second round of last year's draft and after missing the first half of the season, he finished strong grading out at 79.6 overall by PFF in the playoffs.
I mentioned the safety situation earlier and it might take these two some time to gel considering that Hill wasn't a starter last year and Scott played with the Rams. Trusting Lou Anarumo to get them up to speed doesn't seem scary at all though.
Bengals secondary backups
Cornerbacks: Allan George, Sidney Jones IV, Jalen Davis
Safeties: Tycen Anderson, Brandon Wilson
George was a nice surprise last year considering he went undrafted and no one expected him to really amount to much in this defense. He was utilized more on special teams than on defense but he only appeared in four games during the 2022 season.
Jones joined the Bengals this offseason after the team could have claimed him off waivers last season but opted not to. Jones is an experienced vet in the league but he had a rough season in 2022.
Davis is someone we haven't seen a ton from but he's done okay when he's filled in due to injuries. The Bengals made it a point to re-sign him this offseason because he's been a solid depth piece.
We didn't get to see anything from Anderson during his rookie year because he was injured but hopefully the fifth-round pick can contribute in 2023. Wilson didn't play at all in 2022 either but he's been with the Bengals since 2017 so he knows the team well.
Cornerbacks: Chris Lammons, Marvell Tell III
Safeties: Yusuf Corker, Michael Thomas
The only player from this bunch that I feel semi-confident will be on the roster when the regular season rolls around is Thomas, who has been with the Bengals since 2021. Corker is a former undrafted free agent out of Kentucky who was signed to the practice squad before the start of the 2022 regular season.
Lammons was only picked up because the Bengals wanted to swipe the Chiefs' best special teams contributor away from them before the AFC Championship Game. Tell hasn't played a snap in the NFL since 2019 when he was a member of the Colts.
How will the secondary depth chart change between now and the end of the draft?