The Cincinnati Bengals came so close to winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history last year. They enter the 2022 season with high hopes and might see immediate contributions from a few early draft picks as well. That means that the depth chart could be shaken up throughout training camp.
The Bengals will certainly continue to lean on their established players at the most important positions, but not everyone is safe. The newcomers are coming in hot and looking to make an impact, which makes taking a look at three Cincinnati veteran fighting for their jobs worthwhile.
Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart
1. Eli Apple, CB
Cornerback Eli Apple had to raise his eyebrows a bit during the NFL Draft considering the Bengals selected a DB three different times. First-round pick Daxton Hill has been praised as a day one starter in the NFL after he finished his college career strong with 69 tackles (4.5 for loss) and 8 pass breakups in 2021. Meanwhile. second-round pick Cam Taylor-Britt defended 11 passes with Nebraska in his junior season. Apple was brought back on a one-year deal worth $4 million in free agency this offseason. However, the fact that he missed a whopping 12 tackles last season shows that he'll need to prove why he deserves to start Week 1.
2. Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB
There's times when the Bengals use a strongside linebacker to match up with opposing tight ends or step up in the rushing attack in a 4-3 base defense. Last year, Akeem Davis-Gaither took on that role quite a bit and appeared in 33% of the defensive snaps. He only posted 28 tackles and 1 forced fumble, though. Davis-Gaither is likely going to assume the same role in 2022, but there's a chance Keandre Jones can overtake him by balling out in training camp. Jones has appeared in seven games with the Bengals over the last two years despite posting 73 tackles and 7.0 sacks in his final season at Maryland in 2019.
3. Jackson Carman, OL
Of course, Cincinnati's offensive line was known to be one of the worst in the NFL last season and gave up the third-most sacks (55.0) during the regular season. The front office made sure to address the issue by signing Ted Karras and Alex Cappa in free agency. The only problem is that the left guard position remains vulnerable. Jackson Carman only started six games for the Bengals last season and drew five penalties over 462 offensive snaps. Fourth-round pick Cordell Volson could end up giving Carman a run for his money. The North Dakota state standout gave up zero sacks across a total of 906 pass block snaps from 2019-2021.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.