The Bengals released their first depth chart of the season today, and it doesn’t feature any real surprises.
Mohamed Sanu and A.J. Green are the starting wide receivers, with Marvin Jones listed as Sanu’s backup. That’s likely to change by the time the team opens the season in Oakland on Sept. 13, but with Jones missing all of last year with foot injuries, and most of the previous week with a sore hamstring, Sanu is listed as the starter for the time being.
Brandon Tate is the backup to Green, ahead of Greg Little, Denarius Moore and rookie seventh-round Mario Alford, among others.
Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones are the starting cornerbacks, with Darqueze Dennard and Leon Hall listed as the backups.
Rookie tackle Jake Fisher, the team’s second-round pick, is the backup to Andrew Whitworth at left tackle, while veteran Eric Winston is behind Andre Smith at right tackle.
The only new addition to the starting lineup from the end of last season is Michael Johnson, who returned to the team after one year in Tampa Bay. He’s the starter at right defensive end ahead of Wallace Gilberry.
The defensive line is arguably the deepest position group on the team, which should make for an interesting competition for the nine spots on the 53-man roster. The way it lines up now, Carlos Dunlap, Domata Peko, Geno Atkins and Johnson are the starters, while Margus Hunt, Pat Sims, Brandon Thompson and Gilberry are the backups. That leaves one spot left to be won by either Will Clarke, Devon Still, Sam Montgomery, Kwame Geathers, rookie fourth-round pick Marcus Hardison and undrafted rookies DeShawn Williams and Kalafitoni Pole.
On special teams, Brandon Tate is the starting kick return while Jones is the starting punt returner. Each player serves as the others backup in those roles. Alford is third team on both, while Giovani Bernard is the third-team punt returner and Onterrio McCalebb is the third-team kick returner.