The Bengals have a big hole opposite A.J. Green that needs to be filled. They need someone who can exploit opportunities when A.J. is double-covered.
With the names we wanted to see fill that spot donning other uniforms (while the Bengals were sitting idly), the pickin’s are getting slim. We are now down to guys like Braylon Edwards and Plaxico Burress. Were they the ones you were hoping to see in a Bengals uniform?
The Bengals have not even invited a WR for a visit to this point, so we are left to infer that the front office is content with filling this spot either from within or through the draft.
Drafting the guy is a roll of the dice for 2012. They should draft a receiver this year, but except for A.J. Green, most WRs take a full season to develop to the pro level. Assuming that a rookie can give the Bengals the level that they need out of a #2 receiver is more risk than I am comfortable with.
That leaves us considering the options already on the roster. Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson have proven that they are not the guys for the job, which leaves us with two choices: Jordan Shipley or Andrew Hawkins.
I will admit that there is a part of me that likes the idea of having Green, Shipley and Hawkins on the field at the same time. Green has that crazy athleticism; Hawkins has that Welker-like shiftiness, and Shipley has the solid hands over the middle.
But there is a part of me that is nervous about a move that essentially makes Hawkins the #2 WR. I was hoping for someone with a little more to his NFL resume. But the die seems to have been cast already, and that seems to me to be where Mike and Marvin are going.