The Cincinnati Bengals' roster is beginning come into focus after two preseason games. There will be interesting decisions to make at defensive back that will have ripple effects through the back end of the roster.
Each week during the preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players who are likely to make the final cut to 53 on Sept. 2 and those who will be sent packing.
Stock rising: A position on the roster has solidified for S Jeromy Miles. Already invaluable on special teams, he appears to be picking up the defense in his third year. He's even been mentioned as pushing starter Taylor Mays after getting his first career interception in game against Atlanta. With it being uncertain that Mays can be the every-down safety, Miles has an opportunity to expand his role and has taken advantage.
DE Jamaal Anderson is a free-agent flier signed by Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in hopes of invigorating the career of the former first-round pick. With starters Carlos Dunlap and Robert Geathers out, Anderson has played well with the first team. He'll hold down that spot again Thursday and has shown he can handle the workload and become an invaluable part of the team's depth at the end position.
Stock falling: S Robert Sands, the second-year pro out of West Virginia hoped to be in the mix at safety but hasn't covered anyone this camp. Zimmer loved his size at 6-4, but his speed and instincts have been exposed. He'll need a monster close to the preseason to land on the roster.
DT Pat Sims, in his fourth-year, has yet to practice this season as he struggles to get into football shape. Although that has set him back in the eyes of the coaches, it may actually save his job -- temporarily. There's an increasing liklihood he'll be placed on the PUP list because the Bengals don't want to ditch a productive defensive lineman or one of the two rookies. Sims could then return if one of the starters is injured of situations change by Week 6.
QB -- In: (2) Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski. Out: Zac Robinson, Tyler Hansen. Analysis: No surprises here. Marvin Lewis rolled with two QBs last season and is a proponent of the philosophy. Expect Robinson to be added to the practice squad.
RB -- In: (5) BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard, Cedric Peerman, Chris Pressley (FB). Out: Dan Herron, Aaron Brown, Jourdan Brooks, James Develin. Analysis: Running back is about the most predictable of the position groups. The Law Firm and Scott will split the majority of the starting carries with Leonard holding on to his role as third-down back. Peerman is cherished on special teams and Pressley had next to no competition in camp. Herron will be a lock for the practice squad assuming he clears waivers.
WR -- In: (6) A.J. Green, Armon Binns, Brandon Tate, Andrew Hawkins, Mohamed Sanu,Marvin Jones. Out: Justin Hilton, Vidal Hazelton, Kashif Moore, Ryan Whalen. Any drama was sapped from the final cut here this week when the Bengals let Jordan Shipley go early to allow him to catch on with another team. The timing came as a surprise to many as a young group became even younger.
TE -- In: (3) Jermaine Gresham, Donald Lee, Orson Charles. Out: Colin Cochart. Analysis: Barring injury, Cochart will be the odd man out. He benefited from a preseason injury to Bo Scaife last year, but didn't show enough to unseat the two veterans and a promising prospect in Charles.
OL -- In (9): Andrew Whitworth, Clint Boling, Kyle Cook, Kevin Zeitler, Andre Smith, Anthony Collins, Otis Hudson, Dennis Roland, Reggie Stephens. Out: Matt Murphy, Trevor Robinson,Matthew O'Donnell. Analysis: The season-ending injury to Travelle Wharton saved Stephens' job because versatile backup Boling now relinquishes his job as backup center to be the starter at LG. Expect Robinson to be on the practice squad.
DL -- In (8): Carlos Dunlap, Domata Peko, Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson, Robert Geathers,Devon Still, Brandon Thompson, Jamaal Anderson. Out: Pat Sims, Nick Hayden, Vaughn Meatoga, DeQuin Evans. Analysis: Sims' status was addressed in Stock Falling, but depth at DE could be an issue. Anderson's contribution has been necessary and he has a spot on the roster, but it wouldn't be shocking to see the Bengals deal for a defensive end as insurance for the injuries to Dunlap and Geathers (trade Sims?). Remember, Cincinnati made trades each of the past two preseasons they were happy with. They added S Reggie Nelson in 2010 and CB Kelly Jennings last year.
LB -- In (7): Manny Lawson, Rey Maualuga, Thomas Howard, Vincent Rey, Dan Skuta,Roddrick Muckelroy, Vontaze Burfict. Out: Dontay Moch, Micah Johnson, Emmanuel Lamur,Grant Hunter. Analysis: This position became crowded in a hurry. The Bengals could consider keeping a crazy number like eight LBs because Moch or Johnson could double as hybrid rush ends. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer hasn't been happy with Moch's lack of retention and that will ultimately cost the 2011 third-round pick. His saving grace could be the four-game suspension he must serve for violating the substance policy. He could make the team if an injury elsewhere opens a spot. Undrafted Burfict has shown too much potential to let go, and he's been a model citizen despite his college reputation.
DB -- In (10): Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Terence Newman, Jason Allen, Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, Brandon Ghee, Reggie Nelson, Taylor Mays, Jeromy Miles. Out: George Iloka,Robert Sands, Tony Dye, Taveon Rogers, Chris Lewis-Harris, T.J. Heath, Shaun Prater. Analysis: Seven corners and three safeties? Perhaps this is a stretch, but the Bengals love what they saw from oft-injured Ghee (wrist). The biggest question is if he'll be placed on IR or allowed to return. There's a good chance he won't clear waivers and join the practice squad. Without better knowledge of his injury, it's tough to say what the Bengals will do. If Ghee goes to IR, Iloka will take his spot.
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates from training camp on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLCIN.