The Bengals have announced their 53-man roster, but in reality, the roster will never be finalized. There are injuries, waiver claims, free agent signings and unforeseen development of players.
Currently, the Bengals are looking for a long, rangy, athletic linebacker that can replace the injured Emmanuel Lamur. If there were a player with all of Lamur’s qualities, he’s probably already on a 53-man roster. Instead, the team will need to look for a diamond in the rough; somebody with the physical talents that they can quickly mold.
I’ve reviewed the NFL’s transaction list from the past two days and narrowed my Interest List to five players that could potentially help the Bengals.
1. Bryan Scott – Buffalo Bills – 32 years old – 10 years experience – 6’1″ – 220 lbs
Scott has played Safety and Linebacker for the Bills, but his role was as their Nickel LB. He’s a bit of a tweener and doesn’t run as well as he used to. Scott is a team-first player that can help on special teams also. He may allow the Bengals to release a safety instead of a LB because he can play there in emergency. Scott is the only player on this list that wouldn’t need to be claimed. He is a free agent.
2. Terrell Manning – Packers – 23 years old – 2nd NFL year (5th round, 2012) – 6’2″ – 237 lbs
Manning is still young enough to offer some upside. He was my 132nd overall player in last year’s draft. He ran a respectable 4.62 at the NFL combine and showed speed at NC State. He’s a weak-side LB and potentially a Nickel backer.
3. Brandon Marshall – Jaguars – 23 years old – 2nd NFL year (5th round, 2012) – 6’1″ – 238 lbs
Marshall lost the battle for the Jaguars final LB spot, but he offers athleticism, speed and special teams. At Nevada, he was known as a “very hungry” player that did everything right. I have to think there’s still something here and the Bengals desperately need the athleticism Marshall offers.
4. James Michael-Johnson – Browns – 24 years old – 2nd NFL season (4th round, 2012) – 6’1″ – 238 lbs
JMJ was my 108th ranked draft prospect in 2012, but he hasn’t tapped that potential in Cleveland. He’s more of an MLB, but JMJ shows some decent straight line speed (4.6 forty).
5. Winston Guy (S) – Seahawks – 23 years old – 2nd NFL season (6th round, 2012) – 6’1″ – 220 lbs
Like the first player I listed, Guy may be too big for safety in the NFL. Although the Bengals may also like him for that reason, Winston Guy’s future in the NFL may be as a nickel LB. Seattle had plans of using him in a three-safety Dime package and the Bengals would be wise to get another DB on the field in place of a LB. Guy, like the veteran Scott, could kill two birds with one stone (LB/S).