Defensive Backs: Nate Clements, Leon Hall, Jason Allen, Terence Newman, Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, Reggie Nelson, George Iloka, Taylor Mays, Jeromy Miles
IR: Brandon Ghee, Shaun Prater, Taveon Rogers, Robert Sands, Tony Dye
The Bengals secondary has underachieved throughout the preseason given the multitude of talent on the roster.
Leon Hall and Nate Clements will start on opening day. Hall is coming back from a torn Achilles, and his speedy recovery has been a marvel. However, his play has been rusty to this point. A healthy Leon Hall will give the Bengals secondary a monumental boost.
Nate Clements is beginning to slow down with age, but remains a solid and consistent back despite a lack of elite speed. 2012 may be his swan song as a Bengal given the drafting of Dre Kirkpatrick, and if he wants to court interest elsewhere, Clements needs a big year.
Dre Kirkpatrick has more than fallen behind this offseason. Sidelined with a leg injury and suffering a further setback that will see him out for even longer, it seems Kirkpatrick will not contribute in a meaningful sense until at least after the bye week.
Terence Newman and Jason Allen give the Bengals the credible depth they lacked in their postseason loss in Houston. Returning Adam Jones will be given a smaller role this year, primarily in the nickel, and he should thrive under less pressure.
Reggie Nelson headlines the safety group and continues to make Jacksonville look foolish for letting him go. Nelson is smart, makes adjustments well and gets to the ball with ease.
Taylor Mays replaces Chris Crocker at strong safety and has grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons this preseason. His hits on Maualuga and Burfict have already caused problems, and they have done little to erase views that Mays is all brawn and no brains.
Special teams monster Jeromy Miles and the so-far-disappointing George Iloka grab the back-up spots, with Clements likely to factor in as well.