Bengals head coach Zac Taylor revealed his first depth chart of the season Monday with an offensive line that has Michael Jordan at right guard backed up by veteran Xavier Su'a-Filo and second-round pick Jackson Carman.
In anticipation of Saturday night's preseason opener in Tampa (7:30-Cincinnati's Channel 12), Taylor has put rookie tackle D'Ante Smith as the backup to left guard to Quinton Spain. Smith, a fourth-round pick out of East Carolina who played one game at guard for the Pirates, has been impressive since he moved to guard for Saturday's practice.
But as Taylor said Sunday when he referenced the offensive line, lineups on depth charts are based on what happens in the three preseason games and he could have been talking about the rest of the roster.
The defensive side of the ball went chalk in their two-linebacker alignment featuring Logan Wilson in the middle (backed up by 2020 draft classmate Akeem Davis-Gaither) next to Germaine Pratt (backed up by veteran Jordan Evans) on a unit that has six different starters from the 2020 finale.
Also chalk is fifth-rounder Evan McPherson slotted as the first kicker ahead of Austin Seibert.
The depth chart doesn't take into consideration rehabs and injuries, so while players such as center Trey Hopkins (knee rehab) and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (hamstring) are listed as starters, they may not play in Tampa. Starting quarterback Joe Burrow (knee rehab) has already been ruled out for Saturday night.
Jordan, the Opening Day left guard the past two seasons, is looking for the consistency to keep him in the lineup all season next to new right tackle and one of the Bengals biggest offseason additions in Riley Reiff.
The Bengals' three wide receivers are backed up by a trio of veterans with Auden Tate behind first-round pick Ja'Marr Chase, Michael Thomas behind Tee Higgins and free-agent pickup Trent Taylor backing up Tyler Boyd in the slot.
The Bengals' brand new three cornerbacks are backed up by two players off last year's roster. While free-agent pickup Eli Apple is behind Trae Waynes, Darius Phillips is in the slot behind Mike Hilton and Tony Brown is backing up Chidobe Awuzie on the other side.