Bengals depth chart 2019: Can new coaches elevate Cincinnati’s underrated stars?

first_imgThe Bengals have a new coach for the first time since 2003. Cincinnati parted ways with Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons and hired Zac Taylor, a Sean McVay assistant, from the Rams.Will that breathe new life into a franchise that slipped to the bottom of the AFC North last season? NFL STADIUM RANKINGS:Paul Brown Stadium among league’s worstSecondaryThere aren’t many changes here. Cincinnati brought in nickel corner B.W. Webb, who has bounced around the last six seasons, via free agency. The starting secondary is the same.Seventh-round pick Jordan Brown, a South Dakota State product, could surprise in training camp. 2019 NFL RANKINGS:QBs | WRs | TEs | Defenders | CoachesCincinnati earned just one win in the division last year, and the season crumbled after quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green suffered season-ending injuries. The Bengals did not make any big offseason moves other than keeping some key players in-house, and they had a solid showing in the 2019 NFL Draft.Here is a breakdown of Cincinnati’s projected two-deep depth chart on offense and defense for 2019.Bengals depth chart: Offense Pos.StarterBackupQBAndy DaltonJeff DriskelRBJoe MixonGiovani BernardWRA.J. GreenJosh MaloneWRTyler BoydAlex EricksonTETyler EifertC.J. UzomahLTCordy GlennJustin Evans*LGClint BolingChristian WestermanCBilly PriceTrey HopkinsRGAlex RedmondJohn Miller*RTJonah Williams*Bobby Hart* New to Bengals in 2019QuarterbackDalton is entering his ninth season with the Bengals. He has been a steady starter whose record is 68-50-2, but he has not taken Cincinnati to the next step.Taylor could re-energize the veteran QB’s career, and the fact the Bengals passed on Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins in the draft shows faith in Dalton. Cincinnati drafted N.C. State’s Ryan Finley in the fourth round. Finley won’t challenge Dalton this season, but he could battle with Jeff Driskel, who started five games last season, for the backup job.Running backJoe Mixon is an underrated star in the backfield who rushed for 1,168 yards and eight TDs on 4.9 yards per carry last season. He is the lead back, but Cincinnati added depth with Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams and Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.Both rookies will have their chance to unseat veteran Gio Bernard if they can prove they can catch the ball out of the backfield. Williams averaged 22 catches per season the last three years with the Aggies.NFL UNIFORM RANKINGS:Where Bengals’ look ranks among NFL’s bestTight endTight end C.J. Uzumoah was the Bengals’ third leading receiver behind Green and Tyler Boyd last season. Cincinnati still decided to re-sign Tyler Eifert, who has played in just 14 games since his Pro Bowl season in 2015.Eifert is effective when healthy, but it’s been a long time since he’s been 100 percent. The Bengals added Washington tight end Drew Sample in the second round of the draft, which was considered a reach. Sample, however, could be a good fit in Taylor’s scheme.Offensive lineCincinnati QBs took 37 sacks this season, so offensive line was a priority in the 2019 NFL Draft.Alabama tackle Jonah Williams should get a chance to start immediately at right tackle. His measurables were picked apart at the NFL Combine, but he is another solid player from Nick Saban’s assembly line. Fourth-round pick Michael Jordan should add depth on the interior when he’s ready alongside former teammate Billy Price, who is slotted at starting center.Alex Redmond’s four-game suspension also will open an opportunity for free-agent pickup John Miller at right guard. This unit is learning a new system, so there will be growing pains early.center_img Bengals depth chart: DefensePos.StarterBackupDECarlos DunlapSam HubbardDTAndrew BillingsRenell Wren*DTGeno AtkinsRyan GlasgowDEJordan WillisKerry Wynn*LBNick VigilGermaine Pratt*LBPreston BrownDeshaun Davis*LBJordan EvansMalik JeffersonCBDre KirkpatrickBW Webb*CBWilliam Jackson IIITony McRaeSSShawn WilliamsClayton FejedelemFSJesse Bates IIIBrandon Wilson* New to Bengals in 2019Defensive lineThe Bengals’ starting defensive line is solid with veterans Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap up front. Defensive end Kerry Wynn will provide depth as a backup, and Cincinnati used the draft to bring in fourth-round pick Renell Wren from Arizona State. The rookie could work in as a rotation player on the interior.LinebackerCincinnati kept Preston Brown this offseason, but two rookies will compete for playing time right away. Third-round pick Germaine Pratt had 104 tackles and 10 tackles for loss for the Wolfpack last season. Auburn’s Deshaun Davis is a late-round sleeper.Malik Jefferson, a second-year backup from Texas, also will look to break through in new defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s scheme.last_img

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