July 25, 2017

Projecting The Offensive Roster II

With minicamp wrapped up, it is time to make an official update of the roster projections to kick off a discussion of how players are progressing. The end of minicamp marks the end of activities for the next 6 weeks until the start of training camp. So sound off about who you think ought to be moved up or down, and we will see who is right once camp gets going.

There ought to be plenty to discuss about the wide receiver spot. With 8-10 legitimate candidates for 6 spots, the decision on who to keep and who not to keep will not be easy. But there are other topics to discuss as well. Could they try to get by with just 8 OL to keep an 7th receiver? Or go without a FB?

Let me make this disclaimer up front. These projections represent how I think the roster will turn out, not necessarily how I want the roster to be put together.

Pos Starter Backup Practice Squad Miss The Team
QB Andy Dalton Bruce Gradkowski Tyler Hanson Zac Robinson
RT Andre Smith Anthony Collins Matthew O’Donnell
RG Kevin Zeitler Clint Boling Trevor Robinson
C Kyle Cook Reggie Stephens
LG Travelle Wharton Otis Hudson Matt Murphy
LT Andrew Whitworth Dennis Roland
WR1 A.J. Green Marvin Jones Kashif Moore Ryan Whalen
Taveon Rogers
Vidal Hazelton
Justin Hilton
WR2 Brandon Tate Armon Binns
WR3 Mohamed Sanu Andrew Hawkins Jordan Shipley (PUP)
TE Jermaine Gresham Orson Charles
Donald Lee
Colin Cochart
Bryce Davis
FB Chris Pressley James Develin
Jourdan Brooks
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Bernard Scott
Brian Leonard
Cedric Peerman
Dan Herron Rodney Stewart
Aaron Brown


Some thoughts and questions:

QB: Anyone making the case that Hanson ought to be on the 53-man roster? Who do you cut to make room for him? I say he can gain just as much on the PS as he can being the Asst Captain of the Clipboard. But I congratulate Tyler for showing a whole lot more than I thought he had. With work during the season, he replaces Gradkowski as the backup next year.

OL: All four tackle positions and starting center stay the same from last year. But at guard, I will be watching the battle between Stephens, Boling and Hudson. With Boling having (a little) experience, and with Stephens able to play both guard and center, I see Hudson as starting off at a slight disadvantage. Can he outplay one of them in camp to earn a spot?

WR: Let the fun officially begin.

#1) I think Tate will edge out Binns as the starting #2 WR to begin the season, despite how close the race between them is right now. Tate’s experience is a good thing. I love the potential in all of these young guys, but they need more than just one or two guys with experience at catching the ball in an NFL game.

#2) Shipley’s return has been steady but slow. Unless he gets back to 100% speed before camp starts, I see the Bengals putting him on PUP just before camp starts to let him fully recoup and avoid the risk of a setback in camp. Even if Shipley avoids PUP and takes snaps in camp, I think Sanu gives him a real challenge for the first guy in at the slot.

#3) I hate listing Whalen as missing the team, but someone with some real potential is going to be the odd man out. Jones will get on the field when they need real speed, and Hawkins is a shifty receiver and special teams ace. If you think Whalen makes the team, who are you cutting instead? The fight between Kashif Moore and Taveon Rogers will be a fun one to watch.

TE: The tussle between Colin Cochart and Donald Lee is another one that I am not completely sure about. Lee’s skills are good, but he isn’t exactly young. If Cochart can keep pace with Lee, the coaches may prefer to hang on to him instead as a guy who can back up Gresham and Charles for years to come.

RB: As much as I like Stewart’s speed, the 4th RB spot is all about special teams, and Peerman is an important piece of the ST crew, so I had to change my mind there. Herron is already at a disadvantage by missing everything since rookie camp with an injury. Could another team take a risk and try to sign him off of the practice squad?


  1. Dennis Roland is the backup RT–as I understand it he’s a RTO. Collins can play both. I think Cochart beats out Lee as you suggest could happen. Cochart is similarly talented and younger. I see Hudson potentially beating out Boling in training camp as well. Of the backs you mention, I’m most interested in seeing Aaron Brown. He lit us up in preseason last year, and has some speed to burn as well.

    As for the WR’s, I’ll let it shake out in camp, but I’d prefer someone other than Tate as the starter…

  2. I think they’ll keep Lee over Cochart. Having that experience on the squad will really help out our two young TEs. However, when his contract is up at the end of this year he’ll be let go.

    As far as WR I think that Shipley will make it back in time which comes to my next point of Tate being cut. We’ll find a new returner in all of the other talented WRs we have. Binns will be the starting number 2. And just like everyone has been saying, all of the receivers can play multiple positions so putting one player at one spot will be hard.