The Duel

3 Bengals Players in Danger of Losing Their Starting Job in the 2020 NFL Season

By michael obermuller
Zac Taylor will have some decisions to make as the team rebuilds around a younger core.
Zac Taylor will have some decisions to make as the team rebuilds around a younger core. / Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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Cincinnati Bengals fans can finally hope that the dark days of recent years are behind them. They have their franchise quarterback, they actually spent money and bulked up the defense this offseason, and they had a very successful draft. Things are looking up.

With any overhaul, the expression "out with the old" comes to mind. Some former Bengals have already been shown the door, but these recent starters could become backups in 2020.

3. Bobby Hart, RT

Bobby Hart made Andy Dalton's job really hard, the Bengals need to ensure he doesn't do the same for Joe Burrow.
Bobby Hart made Andy Dalton's job really hard, the Bengals need to ensure he doesn't do the same for Joe Burrow. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

In over 1,000 snaps last season, Bobby Hart graded out at a 57.7 on Pro Football Focus with seven penalties and six sacks allowed. This was actually an improvement on prior seasons for Hart, who might need to be replaced at right tackle before Joe Burrow takes his first snap. The only problem is the question of who might replace him. Cincinnati had a solid draft, but went defense or skill position over offensive line more often than not. They did draft tackle Hakeem Adeniji in the sixth round and sign undrafted free agent Josh Knipfel. Perhaps one of the two can win the job in camp.

2. Shawn Williams, SS

The writing is on the wall for Shawn Williams after the Von Bell signing.
The writing is on the wall for Shawn Williams after the Von Bell signing. / Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Most of the defense aside from the line was already replaced in the offseason. The cornerback crew was totally blown up from last year, linebackers were drafted to take on starting roles, the change happened before camp. One interesting battle however will be at safety. Incomer Von Bell should claim a starting role from either strong safety Shawn Williams or free safety Jessie Bates III. Williams is the likelier candidate to lose his job, the soon-to-be 29 year old had the eighth most receptions allowed out of all safeties in 2019.

1. John Ross III, WR

John Ross dropping a pass, a familiar image for Bengals fans the past three years.
John Ross dropping a pass, a familiar image for Bengals fans the past three years. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

John Ross III had a 36.2 and 50.0 percent catch rate the past two campaigns, with 716 yards receiving in total. He's still young, but the former first-round draft pick in 2017 looks like a colossal bust after three seasons in the league. Auden Tate will could also lose his fill-in job, but with A.J. Green returning and second-round draft pick Tee Higgins entering a scene that also includes Tyler Boyd, the days of John Ross lining up as a starter in Cincinnati are likely over.


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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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