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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Bengals' projected starting lineup

By Jamison Hensley

The AFC North blog will project the starting lineups for every team in the division this week as training camps kick into full gear.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

OFFENSE

QB Andy Dalton: There are questions whether he's a franchise quarterback, but there's no question about his hold on the starting job, especially when the backups are Josh Johnson and John Skelton.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: He's still the starter this year despite the Bengals drafting Giovani Bernard in the second round.

FB John Conner or Orson CharlesWith Chris Pressley on PUP, the starting job is up in the air between Conner and Charles, who has played surprisingly well in converting from a tight end.

WR A.J. Green: He's clearly the best receiver in the division and you could make the case for Green being the best receiver in the AFC.

WR Mohamed SanuThe 2012 third-round draft pick was improving every week before a season-ending foot injury.

TE Jermaine Gresham: It wasn't a vote of confidence when the Bengals drafted Tyler Eifert in the first round, but Gresham had career highs in catches and receiving yards last season.

LT Andrew Whitworth: Second-best left tackle in the division, behind Cleveland's Joe Thomas.

LG Clint BolingHis progression last season allowed the Bengals to part ways with Travelle Wharton.

C Kyle Cook: Currently has the edge over Trevor Robinson but the competition is far from over.

RG Kevin Zeitler: First-round pick from last season looks like a future Pro Bowl lineman.

RT Andre Smith: Skipping all of the offseason camps didn't endear him to the Bengals but he appears to be in excellent shape.

DEFENSE

LDE Carlos DunlapBengals hope Dunlap reaches his potential after signing him to a six-year, $40 million contract.

NT Domata Peko: Led defensive line in tackles for fourth time in five seasons.

RDT Geno Atkins: Topped all NFL interior linemen with 12.5 sacks last season and enters a contract year.

RDE Michael Johnson: Franchise player had a career-high 11.5 sacks last season but could be playing his final season in Cincinnati.

SLB James Harrison: His toughness and leadership will be invaluable to the Bengals.

MLB Rey Maualuga: Bengals showed their faith in him by re-signing Maualuga and keeping him at middle linebacker.

WLB Vontaze Burfict: Undrafted rookie was biggest surprise on the team last season, leading the Bengals in tackles.

LCB Terence Newman: Re-signed with the Bengals in the offseason after leading the team with 14 passes defensed.

SS Shawn Williams: Rookie third-round pick hasn't won the job but he's been impressive early in camp.

FS Reggie Nelson: Has recorded seven interceptions, four forced fumbles and one touchdown in his past two seasons.

RCB Leon Hall: One of the most underrated corners in the league looked healthy and confident by the end of last season.