Significant move: The Bengals' final spot likely went to wide receiver Ryan Whalen over middle linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy. What weighed in the decision was the Bengals' increasing confidence in rookie Vontaze Burfict, whose character issues caused him to plummet from being a first-round pick to an undrafted free agent. Muckelroy, a 2010 fourth-round pick who isn't eligible for the practice squad, was supplanted by Burfict as the primary backup to Rey Maualuga. Whalen, a 2011 sixth-round pick, is the seventh wide receiver on the roster. Guard-center Trevor Robinson joined Burfict as the only undrafted rookies to make the final major cutdown. The Bengals decided to keep 10 defensive backs, which includes seven players who have been drafted in the first round.
Onward and upward: The only one of the 10 Bengals draft picks this year not to make the team (or get placed on injured reserve) was running back Dan Herron. He was projected to go on the practice squad when Cincinnati made him its final pick of the draft and he didn't earn his way onto the roster. Herron led the team with 25 carries in the preseason but he averaged 1.7 yards per carry. Another draft pick on the bubble, fourth-round tight end Orson Charles, beat out Colin Cochart. The Bengals can put their third quarterback Zac Robinson on the practice squad just like last season.
What's next: The Bengals are expected to put center Kyle Cook on injured reserve Tuesday, taking advantage of that new rule that allows them to bring him back after eight weeks. Cook injured his right foot and ankle in a preseason game on Oct. 23, and the Bengals signed veteran Jeff Faine this week to replace him. After placing Cook on IR, Cincinnati can use that roster spot to bring back guard Otis Hudson, a 2010 fifth-round pick.