8. Offensive Line
Okay, hear me out. I understand the Bengals had big free-agent tackle signings in back-to-back seasons, bringing in La’el Collins and Orlando Brown Jr. However, we are not entirely sure what the front five will look like with Collins and Jonah Williams (who requested a trade this past offseason) both recovering from injuries.
Jackson Carman has been impressing in training camp, as he too hopes to compete for the right tackle spot. Left tackle to right guard is solidified with Orlando Brown Jr. (LT), Cordell Volson (LG), Ted Karras (C), and Alex Cappa (RG).
The right tackle position is open for Collins, Williams, or Carman. However, offensive lines need to practice and play together to refine their play and build cohesion with one another. La’el Collins did not attend voluntary camp last offseason, and the entire offensive line struggled early.
Week 1 against Pittsburgh saw the Bengals give up seven sacks. Once the right side of the offensive line gets figured out, the Bengals will be more sound in the trenches, and climb up on this list.
7. Running Back
Joe Mixon’s future with the team appeared to be uncertain this past offseason after both a down year and alleged legal issues. The Bengals drafted Chase Brown in the fifth round as an insurance policy, while backup Trayveon Williams has been a feel-good camp story.
If Joe Mixon can get back into his Pro Bowl form, the entire running back room has the ability to move up this list, but it remains to be seen how much gas he has left in the tank.