June 28, 2017

So Who Is The #2 WR?

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.


  1. The only free agent WR left that I’d take a shot on would be Plax, but I don’t see it happening. Judging by Marvin’s recent comments, it looks like the team may be content with going WR in the draft–perhaps even in round 1 (Malcolm Floyd?)

    I really like Hawkins as a slot guy-Welker type, but I’m souring on Shipley due to his extensive injury history (in college and with the Bengals). I just don’t see him as a long-term solution unfortunately.

    One guy not mentioned is Binns. According to reports, the offensive coaching staff was lobbying for him to be active towards the end of last season, and he was beating our DB’s as the scout team’s primary receiver. He may be in the plans opposite Green.

    Either way, I see them drafting a wide-out fairly high at this point–either in the first or second round.

  2. If they were smart, they would sign TE Dreesens and Michael Bush, release Brian Leonard (a pale Michael Bush), and then take away Wallace from the Steelers for their second No. 1 pick. Your third down package would be Green, Dreesen, Gresham, Bush and Wallace (or remove Bush or Dreesen and add Shipley). Anything short of 3rd and 15 should be easy pickings.

  3. Money could be playing a role in this as well. The team may feel pretty good about its receiver talent and would rather acquire an extra body cheaply in the draft and save money for other spots. But it’s still early, so who knows? For better or worse, I don’t think you can rule out the return of Jerome Simpson either.