After two-and-a-half weeks of training camp and their first preseason game, the Cincinnati Bengals can finally start making decisions about whose stock is higher and whose is lower. It's one thing to show off in practices, but a game situation can tell so much more, even if it is the preseason.
For instance, UDFA Trey Hopkins did wonderfully at OTAs and training camp, which earned him a starting spot this past Friday night at left guard—where does his stock stand after the game? Or we could examine late-round draft picks like James Wright and Marquis Flowers, both of whom are on the roster bubble.
Then there comes the older guys that may or may not be exiled from Cincinnati—Brandon Tate caught a touchdown against the Chiefs, so did he buy himself some more time?
This roster is as talented as ever and it is time to start examining those who stand out. It is also important to note whether or not it is a good thing that the player is standing out. There's a condition I like to call "Long Snapper Syndrome," which applies to players on the offensive line and special teams who only stand out for bad reasons. Sometimes, there are guys whose name you just wouldn't know if not for a colossal mistake.
That being said, who's up and who's down for this week?