By Jameel Shareef @BornInCUSE on May 29, 2014
Winning the AFC North won't be possible if the Bengals don't get help from their reserves. With one of the deepest rosters to date, the Bengals are in a good standing when it comes to getting help right away from backups. Here are five intriguing backups who can potentially start and help out immediately.
Drafted 111th overall in the fourth round, Russell Bodine has the strength, size, and skill to compete for a starting job in 2014. Coming as an offense who ran the ball effectively with current and former college teammate Giovani Bernard, Bodine has the knowledge for a successful running game to work. Look for him to contribute early on in the season.
Acquired during free agency, Newhouse has the size and skill to help his former college teammate Andy Dalton stay upright. Being behind lead man Andrew Whitworth gives him a chance to come in with fresh legs and help out right away. You can never have too much depth on an offensive line anyway.
Already pushing to take key snaps away from starter Rey Maualuga, Vinny Rey provided significant spark last season when needed off the bench. He had key plays against fellow AFC North foe Joe Flacco, picking him off and sacking him in the same game. Look for this Duke University alum to play more snaps and contribute early on in 2014.
This Michigan State Spartan was the best corner in the draft this year. Falling to the Bengals, he was brought in to provide defensive depth and eventually host a starting job on the already stellar defense. Dennard won't need to start right away, but he will make plays when needed this season as third or fourth corner.
Ironically, Jeremy Hill was drafted in the second round just like Giovani Bernard to help solidify the Bengals' backfield. Hill is already taking snaps with the second team offense in the off-season team activities. His resume and work ethic should equally determine the success he should have in the AFC North. Look for Hill to provide a one-two punch with Bernard this upcoming season.
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