2014 Depth Chart: Cincinnati Bengals

A look at the depth and quality of each position on the roster for the 2014 Cincinnati Bengals.

| 3 years ago

2014 Depth Chart: Cincinnati Bengals

2014 depth update CIN

[Chart last updated: 7/2/14… see update notes from 7/2/14]


•  So just how average is Andy Dalton? The answer – not very average at all – in fact the only thing that is remotely average about him is where his grade finally settles at the end of the year after bouncing about like a rubber ball all season. Indeed, it’s been a trait with him since his rookie year and, if anything, the peaks and troughs are becoming more pronounced. This year his top four games netted him a +21.9 while his worst four graded -18.5.

•  I’m just guessing here but I assume most people’s issue with this depth chart will be the lack of an “elite” grade for A.J. Green. As receivers go he’s as physically talented as anyone not named Calvin Johnson but he doesn’t always play to that level and his 11 dropped passes indicates a lack of concentration, not dodgy hands. Another thing to note is that no WR had as many passes thrown at him intercepted (12). Now some of that is clearly on Dalton, but all too often it’s easy to blame the quarterback when the receiver has run the wrong route. Just have a look back and see how you’d attribute blame on each.

•  Khaled has a view that Danieal Manning has been brought in to start, but I’m not so sure. As much as I like Manning I think his best position is playing deep, not letting anything get behind him and making sure tackles. Last year, with the Texans ill-judged decision to bring in Ed Reed to play that role, it brought Manning much closer to the line of scrimmage and he looked far less comfortable. The Bengals (at least in Zimmer’s system) like to play both safeties interchangeably and the current incumbents (Reggie Nelson and George Iloka) both seem better suited to that than Manning.

Roster Battles

1.  Center

With Kyle Cook now released, some feel Mike Pollack will be used as center but I feel he’s more guard cover, particularly with Clint Boling recovering from a late season ACL. Pollack has only played 14 snaps at center in the NFL and although Trevor Robinson has never done anything so far to win the job, it could well come down to him and fourth-round draftee Russell Bodine for the honour.

2.  Strongside Linebacker

Although I’d like to see Vincent Rey given a chance to make the middle linebacker position his own I think the Bengals are too invested in Rey Maualuga (emotionally if not financially) to make so radical a change. However, they know what they have in Rey now so this position makes some sense. That said, Jayson DiManche will also be given a shot to compete but I think this is Rey’s to lose.

3.  Left Cornerback

Since Dallas let Terence Newman go he’s played better than either of his replacements and his late season slump in 2011 with that team looks like something of a blip. However, playing better than both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne (on current form) doesn’t scream Pro Bowl and he is 35. Darqueze Dennard is the heir apparent and the only question now is will that be this year or next? Obviously training camp will be key and the need to avoid another Dre’ Kirkpatrick scenario paramount.


Click here to see all of the depth charts we’ve covered.


Follow Neil on Twitter: @PFF_Neil

| PFF Founder

Neil founded PFF in 2006 and is currently responsible for the service to the company's 22 NFL team customers. He is constantly developing new insights into the game and player performance.

  • MucBuc

    Do you see Sean Porter pushing for snaps this year?

  • X x

    The only problem I have with this list is that Domata Peko is rated as a poor starter o_O think you guys lost focus when judging him. Not only is he the anchor of the D-Line but he is a huge contributor to our run stop D. I would have him as a below average to average starter. I think everyone can agree on the AJ rating tho.

  • wyd

    I got two problems with the depth chart & points: first, why is Carlos Dunlap only a “good starter” and not rated higher? His pressure numbers may be lower than last year, but his excellence in run d should get rated him higher!? Furthermore, I think there is definitely a roster battle going on between Jeremy Hill & BJGE – it would surprise me not to see him start next season.

  • Larry

    Have to agree that Peko is better than a “poor starter”, Average at worst


    Giovani Bernard is the starter and not BJG. You are smoking something if you don’t recognize Green as a top 4 WR or Elite talent. BJG probably won’t even be the backup RB.

  • Bryan

    SLB will be Emmanuel Lamur. He got hurt last year but Cincy loves him.

  • Joseph Williams

    Before reading the reasoning you gave about A.J. Green, I was ready to question the high stats you gave him. I felt he should be higher

  • Chris

    Green needs to be Elite. I’d argue for Gio and Andre Smith to be High Quality. Also Dunlap and Leon Hall need to be High Quality as well.

    The battles at LB and safety are most interesting to me.

    So many guys that could push for snaps at LB. I’ll second the comment about them liking Lamur, although that was more in a WILL role. Porter has to be looked at for the SAM spot, as well as DiManche who took snaps their last year. And that’s not even including Vincent Rey, who they were already rotating on in passing downs for Maualuga late in the hear (finally thank god). That’s 5 guys competing for snaps at 2 spots. Should be interesting to watch develop.

    Also, I can’t figure out why they signed Danieal Manning. Unless they think Crocker is too over the hill to bring back again. Nelson already has one safety spot locked down, and Iloka was surprisingly decent there last year. And they like Mays because he can play like a 2nd LB in the dime package. Shawn Williams isn’t getting cut either, and they won’t keep 5 safeties, so why sign Manning?

  • Guest

    65 receptions, 1,057 yards, and 7 touchdowns
    97 receptions, 1,350 yards, and 11 touchdowns
    98 receptions, 1,426 yards, and 11 touchdowns

    That three year stat line doesn’t make you “Elite”? What a joke.

  • Ricardo

    @ Guest who posted stat lines for AJ… Was going to say the same thing. Crazy as if there was anyone on this team other than Atkins that I think could be “Elite” it’s Green… Why? Because he is…

  • Bill Dan

    Kirkpatrick is not a slot corner, he is more of a left corner, he is physical, just needs to work on the double move
    darqueze is more of a slot corner
    peko is below average, not poor starter
    margus hunt will push for the starting left end, though I agree gilberry is good
    Isaiah lewis might push for the back up safety job, kicking manning and/or mays off the team
    I agree aj green is high quality and not elite, too many drops, ran the wrong routes too many times, didn’t play well against joe haden, though in the past he has
    Gresham is average quality, he is asked to block a ton and catch a ton, more than most receiving tight ends, so he is under rated,
    bodine looks like the starting center at the moment, Jeremy hill will be ahead of bjge on the depth chart,
    if vinie ray doesn’t start, he is going to ttake snaps away from mauluaga at mlb, and lamur will be slb

  • Phillip Chicola

    On the Andy Dalton comment I was wondering if you guys have a Variance metric, that allow you to meassur how inconsistent a player is. That would allow you to differenciate between a guy like Dalton (how has 4 great games and 4 awful games and eventually that evens out) and a QB that is just consistenly average during the whole season.


    Stats shouldn’t be needed to realize AJ Green is elite.