David J. Phillip/Associated Press
1. Geno Atkins
2. Carlos Dunlap
3. Domata Peko
4. Wallace Gilberry
5. Margus Hunt
6. Will Clarke
7. Devon Still
8. Brandon Thompson
9. Robert Geathers
10. Christo Bilukidi
11. Sam Montgomery
12. Ogemdi Nwagbuo
13. Zach Minter
14. David King
15. Larry Black
The Bengals carried nine defensive linemen on their active roster during the regular season last year. Eight of those nine remain and the missing one, Michael Johnson, have been replaced by third-round draft pick Will Clarke.
Using those nine as a base projection, the Bengals final roster should look like this: Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Domata Peko, Wallace Gilberry, Margus Hunt, Devon Still, Brandon Thompson, Robert Geathers and Will Clarke.
The one player of that group who is most likely to lose his roster spot is Geathers.
Geathers has been a prominent piece of the Bengals defensive line rotation for some time, but he has never been a massively impactful player against the run or as a pass-rusher. He is a good all-around backup who could fill a starter role.
If anyone is going to take Geathers' starting spot, Sam Montgomery should be the favorite. Montgomery has been in the league for roughly 12 months and he is already on his third NFL team. He was drafted by the Houston Texans last year, but was released for off-field issues.
The Oakland Raiders subsequently signed and released him during the season before he landed in Cincinnati.
Montgomery played college at LSU across from Barkevious Mingo. He came out of college with character concerns, but he was a promising enough prospect to get drafted in the third round. While he doesn't have overwhelming levels of ability, he could be an upgrade over Geathers, if the Bengals can manage his character and help his development.