David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Linebackers (7): Vontaze Burfict, James Harrison, Rey Maualuga, Emmanuel Lamur, Sean Porter, Vincent Rey, Jayson DiManche
This may be one of the most controversial positional groups among fans and pundits alike. There is plenty of depth at the linebacker position this year for the Bengals and cuts will be tough.
Right now, the best way to decide who to keep is to look at what they do best and the role that they will play on the team this season. After all, the team will want to keep the most productive players on their final roster.
Your starters for 2013 will be Maualuga at MIKE, Harrison at SAM and Burfict at WILL. That much is pretty well known so far. Lamur will be the next guy in line to get reps while he can jump in on passing downs being the best coverage linebacker on the Bengals roster.
Porter is a great talent and should be able to play both the WILL and SAM positions. He will not be asked to do too much during his rookie season and will likely sit back and learn from the veterans. He should be able to contribute on special teams in the meantime.
Rey was brought back over the offseason specifically for his contributions on special teams. The loss of special teams ace Dan Skuta means Skuta's production will have to be duplicated by another player. This is where Rey comes in. Look for him to make a big difference on the coverage teams during 2013.
DiManche is an interesting story. He is a UDFA this season and looks to make the team in the same way as Burfict and Lamur did last year.
DiManche has a great amount of speed and could be that situational edge-rusher that the Bengals were hoping to get with Moch. The coaching staff is very high on this rookie, and his freak athleticism could earn him a roster spot when it is all said and done.