Bengals Depth Chart 2023: Offense
Here's a look at the Cincinnati Bengals' 2023 offense:
Bengals QB Depth Chart
For Bengals fans, the dream is to not be concerned about who the backup quarterback is, but the injury history for Burrow should have every fan knowing the name of whoever will step in his place if the former No. 1 overall pick goes down. Burrow is the clear No. 1, and there's no doubt about it. Burrow is among the best in the NFL; not to mention the latest Joe Burrow odds for MVP are considerably favorable. However, after going down with a knee injury in Week 11 against the Washington Commanders in 2020, concerns over his health have been raised.
Burrow sustained a calf strain in the preseason and missed the bulk of training camp and the entire preseason. He struggled heavily in Week 1, throwing for just 82 yards and no touchdowns. He was 14-of-31 in what was one of his worst professional performances of his career. The Bengals lost 24-3 to the Cleveland Browns in their season opener.
In Week 2, Burrow did a little better with 222 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw an interception. Cincinnati ended up losing to the Baltimore Ravens, falling to 0-2.
While there was a quarterback battle during training camp, Jake Browning is now the only quarterback aside from Burrow on the 53-man roster. Browning beat out former Broncos starter Trevor Siemian during the preseason. Given the nature of the game, Browning did get in against the Browns, throwing an incomplete pass on his only passing attempt.
Bengals RB Depth Chart
Both fans and reporters alike thought the 2022 season would have been Joe Mixon's last in the Queen City, but it wasn't. Mixon agreed to a restructured contract which helped the team make sense of keeping him. Mixon also had some legal concerns throughout the offseason, but those have been cleared prior to the 2023 season's commencement.
Mixon totaled 814 yards last season and seven touchdowns, both significantly down from his career-best year in 2021 which he had 1,205 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He was among the lone bright spots in the Bengals' loss to Cleveland, ending with 56 yards on 13 carries, a 4.3 yards-per-carry average.
Last season, the Bengals had Samaje Perine, who saw a drastic increase in production when Mixon missed time. Perine was among the best pass-blocking backs in the league and performed well as a hard-nosed rusher as well. He signed with the Denver Broncos this offseason, leaving the backup RB role up for grabs. Former sixth-round pick Trayveon Williams will split the bulk of the responsibilities with Chris Evans. Williams tops Evans on the depth chart, but both managed two carries against the Browns. Evans turned his into 12 rushing yards while Williams managed 7. Fifth-round pick Chase Brown is the fourth-string back and didn't see a carry in Week 1.
Bengals WR Depth Chart
The Bengals have absolutely zero lack of talent when it comes to wide receiver. In fact, it would be relatively easy to make the case Cincinnati has the best three-man trio in the NFL. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are both capable WR1s, with the latter up for a contract extension which could get come in the coming weeks. There is no competition for the top three spots, although the team did seem to add Charlie Jones in the 2023 NFL Draft to ensure a quality replacement for Tyler Boyd who is in the last year of his contract. Jones was taken in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of Purdue and makes his living in the slot, much like Boyd.
As for the receiving corps in the first game, Higgins was held without a catch and no yardage. Chase had two rushing yards and 39 receiving yards on five receptions. Boyd finished second among receivers with 10 yards on two catches. This will likely finish as the worst game the trio of receivers has this season. Expect a strong bounce-back against Baltimore in Week 2.
Bengals TE Depth Chart
Fan-favorite tight end Hayden Hurst signed with the Carolina Panthers this offseason which means the Bengals will get a new starting tight end for the third straight season. In 2021, it was C.J. Uzomah, who signed the following offseason with the New York Jets. Cincinnati signed Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr.
Smith Jr. has a 21.4% explosive play rate over the last three seasons, topping both Uzomah (18.2%) and Hurst (17.6%), so he should fit in well with the Bengals' high-octane aerial attack. Smith Jr. had just 182 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns through 8 games last season. Health will be a key factor. He finished with 17 receiving yards on three receptions in the season-opening loss to Cleveland.
Bengals Offensive Line Depth Chart
Burrow was sacked 70 times in the 2021 season with the next-highest player being Ryan Tannehill at 48. That forced the Bengals to apply imminent resources to their offensive line. They brought in the likes of La'El Collins from Dallas, Alex Cappa from Tampa Bay and Ted Karras from New England. Burrow was hit 51 times last season, and the Bengals still looked to revamp their offensive line, adding starting left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. as the team's pivotal offseason addition. He allowed just four sacks last season and should add ample protection to what's been a troubling area for Cincinnati over the past few seasons.
Burrow was sacked two times for 15 yards in the team's season-opener, but he was pressured more often than expected. Cappa, Williams and Brown Jr. were all responsible for three pressures Sunday. As with most of the offense, the line will have some improvement due in Week 2.
The main focal points moving forward with this group will be how Jonah Williams operates at right tackle. The unit could've been worse against the Browns, but improvement will be necessary as the season progresses. That was the first set of drives the five-man group had played together, so expect the enhanced chemistry to help Cincinnati's offensive line.
Bengals Depth Chart 2023: Defense
Now, a look at the Cincinnati Bengals' 2023 defense:
Bengals Defensive Line Depth Chart
The Cincinnati Bengals' depth chart will have few position groups stronger than their defensive line. Having undergone an exodus at safety, it is a huge positive that the team has been able to keep this group together. The Bengals' defensive end duo combined for 14.5 sacks last season and 21.5 the year prior. The team's interior is also among the most underrated in the NFL with Reader posting an 87.3 overall PFF grade. The team's run defense, led by Reader, was formidable. It sat fifth in the NFL in opponents rushing yards per attempt at just 4.1.
The Bengals ranked 29th in sacks per game last season, significantly lower than their 11th-place finish in 2021. Last season, both Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson went down with injuries, leaving the team hurting for pass rushers. That's why they opted to add Clemson standout Myles Murphy in the first round, which most analysts thought was a steal for Cincinnati. Be sure to check out any Ohio sportsbook promos to place a bet on Murphy. 2022 third-round pick Joseph Ossai will also be able to spell Hubbard and Hendrickson, both to help their in-game endurance and to aid their season-long strain.
The Bengals' defensive line ended their Week 1 loss with two sacks, one by Hendrickson and one by Hill. The line was also eaten up in the run game, allowing 106 yards to Nick Chubb on 18 carries. The Browns ended with 206 rushing yards. That will be unacceptable for this unit moving forward.
Bengals LB Depth Chart
The Bengals made moves this offseason to ensure their core linebackers are around for quite some time. In March, the team signed Pratt to a three-year, $21 million deal. In August, Wilson inked a contract extension that went for four years and $37.25 million, so those two will be key parts of the defense this season.
Wilson and Pratt combined for 19 tackles (13 solo), a sack and three tackles for loss along with a forced fumble against the Browns. The linebacking duo continues to be a strength for this defense.
Bengals CB Depth Chart
Cornerback is a spot the Bengals were expected to aim for early in the 2023 NFL Draft, and they did just that with the addition of D.J. Turner. Turner was the 60th overall pick in the draft and the team's second-round selection. Turner wasn't a starter as Awuzie, who tore his ACL in October, was able to return for the season opener. Coming from the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, Awuzie has proven to be a pivotal part of this defense and a trusted option on the edge.
The continued progression in 2022 second-round pick Cam Taylor-Britt will also be a major factor in how well the team's secondary performs. CTB ended last season with nine starts and 55 tackles. The Bengals cornerbacks are a young group, but it is also one spearheaded by veterans. With Turner II and D.J. Ivey as the rookies, both of which could play important roles, the ceiling is high for this group, but similarly, the floor is relatively low.
Given the weather in their Week 1 showing, it is difficult to give a good rating for the Bengals' secondary. Deshaun Watson ended with 16 completions on 29 attempts for 154 yards, a touchdown and an interception. It was, in total, a good showing for the secondary, but they could also improve moving forward. We should get a better look at the secondary against the Ravens in Week 2.
Bengals Safety Depth Chart
If there's a position group to lose some sleep over, it will be the team's safety duo. While Dax Hill and Nick Scott can perform to a high standard, the combination of Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III was among the best in the NFL last season. Bates III signed with the Atlanta Falcons while Bell is with Hurst and the Panthers. Bates III showed in Week 1 exactly why the Bengals should've paid him. Nonetheless, the team got a solid performance from its safety duo.
The Bengals, to weaken the hit, signed Scott, who was with the Los Angeles Rams, to a 3-year, $12 million deal. He was a full-time starter with the Rams in 2022. Scott ended the season with 76 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. 2022 first-round pick Hill will need to step up as well. He was selected 31st out of the University of Michigan.
Scott and Hill are the clear top options, but third-round pick Jordan Battle will hopefully showcase his potential throughout the season. Scott ended with 11 tackles, tying Pratt for the most on the team in Week 1. The combination of the safeties had 17 tackles, two of which were for a loss. Hill also had the lone interception of the game.
Bengals Special Teams
Kicker Evan McPherson, or "Money Mac" according to some, was taken in the 2021 NFL Draft and immediately became the starter. He has a 88.5% career field goal percentage and seemed to carry the Bengals throughout the 2021 postseason. He made 28 of 33 attempts that season and 24 of 29 in 2022. McPherson was 1-for-2 on Sunday, hitting from 42 yards and missing from 51. He didn't attempt a PAT.
The Bengals drafted Brad Robbins in 2023, expecting to be able to pin opponents deep in their own territory, and he beat out Drue Chrisman for the starting punter spot during camp. Robbins was called upon 10 times in Week 1 and seven times in the first half. He ended with 409 total yards and two punts inside the 20 yard line. His long was 54 yards. Robbins is known for his hangtime and placement more than his distance, so this was a difficult showing for the rookie.
The Cincinnati Bengals announced Zac Taylor as the team's head coach in February 2019, overtaking the long-time leader Marvin Lewis. Lewis was the second-longest tenured coach in the league.
Taylor had big shoes to fill, and while that 2019 season saw him win just two games, management stuck it out and has been rewarded with a Super Bowl appearance and two straight trips to the AFC Championship Game. He was the Rams' quarterbacks coach prior to joining the Bengals.
Cincinnati Bengals Coaching Staff
While Taylor gets a good chunk of credit for the team's success, it is an effort by numerous coaches. Both his offensive coordinator (Brian Callahan) and defensive coordinator (Lou Anarumo) could leave with another strong showing in 2023. Each received some interest for head coaching positions this offseason.
- Head coach: Zac Taylor
- Offensive coordinator: Brian Callahan
- Quarterbacks coach: Dan Pitcher
- Running backs coach: Justin Hill
- Wide receivers coach: Troy Walters
- Offensive line coach/run game coordinator: Frank Pollack
- Tight ends coach: James Casey
- Defensive coordinator: Lou Anarumo
- Linebackers coach: James Bettcher
- Defensive line coach: Marion Hobby
- Cornerbacks coach: Charles Burks
- Safeties coach: Robert Livingston
- Assistant head coach/special teams coordinator: Darrin Simmons
Cincinnati Bengals GM
Technically speaking, Cincinnati does not have a general manager. They do have a director of player personnel which has been Duke Tobin. He has been in his position since 1999.
Bengals Depth Chart FAQ
Joe Burrow is the Cincinnati Bengals' starting quarterback and is entering his fourth season in the NFL. He has been to the playoffs in two of his three seasons, losing to the Rams in the 2021 Super Bowl and the Chiefs in the 2022 AFC Championship Game.
Unlike last season in which it was Brandon Allen, the Bengals had a training camp battle, and Jake Browning came out on top. He is the only other quarterback, aside from Burrow, on the roster.
Zac Taylor is the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. He will be entering his fifth season in the league with a record of 28-36-1. That record is blemished by a 2-14 campaign in 2019, the season prior to the arrival of Burrow.
The Bengals' best players in 2023 are mainly on offense. Ja'Marr Chase and Joe Burrow and widely considered the best two players, but linebacker Logan Wilson and wide receiver Tee Higgins both deserve to be named.
Ken Anderson (1981) and Boomer Esiason (1988) are the only players in Bengals history to win an MVP. Left tackle and Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz is also among the most valuable players for the franchise. One must also note Chad Johnson, who was a two-time All-Pro receiver.