The Bengals have no shortage of talent and depth when it comes to wide receivers. There’s the obvious A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, who look to be one of the strongest receiving duos in the AFC this season. In a peice on Bengals.com Jones was quoted saying, “I’m not going to go out and just say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to the Pro Bowl. I’m going to be an elite receiver.’ I do believe that in my heart.” This confidence is just another indication of the superior season we can expect see from these two.
Then there is Mohamed Sanu in the slot, who despite his struggle moving the ball down field, should have an impressive season if he can continue to improve and progress his play.
The real WR story of this training camp will be the backups. Brandon Tate, Dane Sanzenbacher, Cobi Hamilton, Ryan Whalen, Jasper Collins, Alex Neutz, Colin Lockett, and James Wright. Don’t worry, you wont have to remember all of those names. The ones who you should keep an eye out for are Tate, Whalen, and Hamilton.
Those three (along with the up-and-coming Mohamed Sanu) were selected to participate in an off season program run, paid for, and hosted by Andy Dalton. The quasi minicamp was an opportunity for the receivers to work on their timing, as well as a chance to bond before the rigor of training camp. This chance to get extra touches and run routes with the starting quarterback, should give these three receivers an advantage over their competition.
This is not to say that the other wideouts don’t have a shot. A strong case can be made for James Wright, who despite having zero receptions in his time at LSU, showed a lot of promise during this pre season. He might find a place on the practice squad early in the season, but then move up later on and play special teams, or in the slot late in the game.