2021 Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart
|Quarterback||Joe Burrow*||Ryan Finley|
|Running Back||Joe Mixon||Giovani Bernard||Trayveon Williams|
|Wide Receiver 1||Tyler Boyd||Mike Thomas||John Ross|
|Wide Receiver 2||Tee Higgins||Auden Tate|
|Wide Receiver 3||A.J. Green||Alex Erickson|
|Tight End||Drew Sample||Cethan Carter||Bryce Sterk|
|Left Tackle||Jonah Williams||Hakeem Adeniji|
|Left Guard||Michael Jordan|
|Center||Trey Hopkins||Billy Price|
|Right Guard||Xavier Su'a-Filo||O'Shea Dugas||Kahlil McKenzie|
|Right Tackle||Bobby Hart|
The 2019 season marks the 16th season that Marvin Lewis will look to right the tides for the organization. Lewis has taken the team to 7 playoff appearances during his tenure, but the team has never won a playoff game during those visits to the post-season. Lewis signed a 2-year contract extension this off-season, likely marking the final period for his team to take their performance to the next level. The off-season already marked the implementation of change, with a new defensive coordinator and offensive line coach at the helm. These new position fillers stated their case for improvement at their perspective coaching spots, which is an area where the team excelled in building roster depth this off-season.
Starting with the offensive line, the team traded for Cordy Glenn out of Buffalo. Glenn is a sizeable talent at the tackle position, a glaring need for the team that saw Andy Dalton receiving unformidable pressures from the outside positions. Glenn will help seal the gap for opposing defenses to plummet through, leading to a cleaner pocket for Dalton to work from. The tackle depth increased with the signing of Bobby Hart out of New York. Hart is a situational guy who can be featured on both ends of the front line. He will have to fight for a starting position but beefing the depth on the line marks for this signing as a bright move for the team. Russell Bodine, the teams shining center, took his talents elsewhere this off-season. Seeing an immediate need that required filling, the team went out and used their first-round draft pick to select Billy Price. Price is the true plug-and-play talent that can immediately create impact within the center role. He has a vast knowledge of the game and creates call-outs when he sees pressured looks from the defense. He will have to become a vocal leader for the frontline defense of Dalton.
The defense also saw a boost with the addition of coordinator, Teryl Austin. Austin brings a background of grit to a defense that could use some pushing. Austin had the opportunity for head coaching jobs but favored his decision to work within his background in Cincinnati. The signing alone marks for a vast improvement from defensive coordinators of the past. He immediately got to work rebuilding the depth of the defense through the draft. The team grabbed safeties, a defensive end, and a linebacker throughout the 3-day draft period. Most of the players they selected feature a wide range of talents, spanning from speed and agility to raw strength considerations. Most of the selections will be competing with other players at their perspective position for a starting role. This helps create a healthy camp competition that will internally strengthen the core of the defense. Free-agent acquisitions in Preston Brown and Chris Baker also boost the depth at the linebacker and defensive line positions.
While the team applied their new coaching talents to beef up their sides of the ball, the offensive weapon revival never took hold. The team made their biggest strive on offense by extending Tyler Eifert’s contract. Eifert has spent the majority of his career with an on and off injury report designation. Keeping Eifert healthy throughout a season-long campaign is something the team needs to let the offense run through Andy Dalton. Eifert is both reliable in short yardage situations and within the red zone, creating a sizeable target that Dalton has favored throughout his career. With a re-built offensive line, Dalton should be afforded additional time to work within the pocket. Most of his inconsistencies come due to being pressured and feeling as if the platform he has to work from is non-existent. This has created a predictability in Dalton’s game, seeing a high volume of targets towards A.J. Green’s general direction. Influencing Dalton’s pocket presence can be the deciding factor towards spreading his looks. Tyler Boyd and John Ross are both capable targets that will need to present Dalton with more opportunities heading into this season. If the offense can remain healthy, the team will be able to create the looks they need to influence a spread of the football field. Getting the wide receivers upfield in a hurry also opens doors for Joe Mixon and Giovanni Bernard out of the backfield. When given space, these two backs can read defenses and hit the gaps in a hurry. Timing will be everything for this offense in the 2020 season.