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Projected 2014 starters: Cincinnati Bengals

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. Click here for the complete series breakdown.

Cincinnati Bengals Projected 2014 Starters
Offense
Defense
QB
DE
RB
DT
WR1
DT
WR2
DE
TE1
SLB
TE2
MLB
LT
OLB
LG
CB1
C
CB2
RG
SS
RT
FS


» While the Ravens and Steelers both enjoyed strong offseasons, the Bengals are simply treading water. The biggest changes on offense are the arrival of second-round pick Jeremy Hill, who could be a threat to BenJarvus Green-Ellis' early-down running back job; and the uncertainty of the interior of the offensive line. Left guard Clint Boling (who is recovering from ACL surgery) is touch-and-go for the season opener, and the starting center position is wide open following Kyle Cook's release. Veteran Mike Pollak and fourth-round pick Russell Bodine are in line for significant roles.

» Michael Johnson's defection to Tampa leaves Wallace Gilberry and 2013 second-round pick Margus Hunt competing for the starting job opposite Carlos Dunlap. Will Geno Atkins regain Pro-Bowl form after surgery to repair a torn ACL?

» The linebacker corps gets a boost in coverage with the angular and athletic Emmanuel Lamur expected to see at least 700 snaps as James Harrison's replacement. New defensive coordinator Paul Guenther can get more playmaking ability on the field by having Vincent Rey cut into Rey Maualuga's playing time.

» Cincinnati's secondary is deeper than it has been in years. With Leon Hall returning from Achilles surgery and Terence Newman and Pacman Jones continuing to exceed expectations, first-round pick Darqueze Dennard is no lock to join the starting lineup in Week 1. The Bengals also have Texans castoff Danieal Manning pushing George Iloka for snaps at safety.

» Can Guenther bring out the best in this talent as Zimmer did consistently before leaving for the Vikings job?

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