The Cincinnati Bengals released their first official depth chart today. While it’s way-too early to predict this will be the same, or even similar depth chart the team uses when they open the regular season against the Chicago Bears, there are a few takeaways from it that could reveal the thinking of the coaching staff right now.
* Mohamed Sanu being the #2 receiver shows how confident this coaching staff is in him after he caught fire in the middle of the 2012 season, and helped the Bengals offense morph into one the best offenses in the league at that time. Of his 16 receptions in 2012, 10 of them were for a first-down, and four were for touchdowns. He won’t blow you away with the amount of yardage he racks up, but he’ll slowly kill opposing defenses when they double-team A.J. Green.
Despite being listed as the starter alongside Green, I expect to see Sanu used in the slot. He spent 53.8% of his snaps in the slot last year, and given his specialty as a short-yardage possession receiver, that’s the role he’s poised to thrive in.
Expect to see Green and Marvin Jones lined-up out wide with Sanu manning the slot exclusively in 2013 after Andrew Hawkins was the primary slot WR in 2012.
Going with the traditional XYZ receiver chart, here’s how I see the true WR depth chart projecting this year:
X: 1. A.J. Green 2. Cobi Hamilton
Y (slot): 1. Mohamed Sanu 2. Andrew Hawkins
Z: 1. Marvin Jones 2. Cobi Hamilton
Expect the Bengals to carry six receivers with Hamilton being the sixth WR.