AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens


  • The Athletic’s Jay Morrison highlights Bengals S Jessie Bates as his breakout player for Cincinnati. Bates was a Pro Bowl snub in 2020 but Morrison thinks he could be an All-Pro in 2021. 
  • ESPN’s Ben Baby says Bengals G Xavier Su’a-Filo is in danger of not making the roster if he can’t beat out projected starters Jackson Carman and Quinton Spain at guard. Cincinnati would save $2.4 million by cutting Su’a-Filo. 


  • The Athletic’s Zac Jackson notes the Browns took it slow with 2020 third-round LB Jacob Phillips as a rookie by design, but he has the range and size to play in any situation and could be a big part of the defense’s growth this year. 
  • ESPN’s Jake Trotter writes Browns LB Mack Wilson isn’t guaranteed a roster spot, as second-round LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was drafted to play the same role at weakside linebacker. 


With the Ravens deciding to move Bradley Bozeman to center, several players are now competing for the vacant left guard job including Ben Cleveland, Ben Powers, Ben Bredeson, and others.

Ravens’ HC John Harbaugh says the competition is wide open at this point, even though some of the beat reporters think the third-round rookie Cleveland is leading the pack heading into training camp.

“Yes, I would assess it probably as being wide open,” said Harbaugh, via “All of those guys have played to a very high level so far [with] what we’re in this phase for what we’re allowed to do. They all look good. Nobody has separated at this point, but you’re not going to separate in something like this. We don’t ask them to separate at this time; training camp is when that will happen. But we’ve got candidates, for sure, and they’re all high-level candidates. So, I’m excited about that and can’t wait to see it play out. I’m sure everybody is kind of … If you like football and you’re a real student of the game, you’ll be watching that left guard battle during training camp.”

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