Zac Jackson from FoxSportsOhio provided his five most important Bengals. Jackson gave more in-depth explanations for each of his picks, but for simplicity sake, I’ll just give you the list:
5. A.J. Green
4. Carlos Dunlap
3. Rey Maualuga
2. Leon Hall
1. Carson Palmer
I’m okay with most of this list, but I don’t understand how you leave left tackle Andrew Whitworth off it. Big Whit plays one of the most important positions on the entire field and plays it well. Furthermore, he’s probably the biggest leader on the team right now considering Carson Palmer’s absence. I’d probably have placed him around No. 3 at least. And I’m baffled by the inclusion of A.J. Green. Wide receivers are vastly overrated and I don’t expect much from Green as a rookie this season. Perhaps he can prove me wrong, but I still wouldn’t place him within the top five most important players – especially since he’s never played a snap for the team.
And finally, here’s a scary thought. I said it last year and I’ll say it again. The development of Andre Smith is vital for the Bengals. Last year, Smith tanked and the team did too. If he can rescue his career and develop into a reliable starter, the Bengals offensive line will suddenly look much better. If he continues to struggle with conditioning and health issues, it could be another ugly year up front for Cincinnati.
That makes him important too, just not top 5 worthy.