4. Brandon Tate
Behind breakout sensation AJ Green, the Bengals have a store of talent at wide receiver. The concern is that only two have seen the field to any considerable degree and shown merit in the process; Jordan Shipley and Brandon Tate. Shipley is a dedicated slot receiver, and while his roster spot is all but guaranteed, his competitive claim to the number two receiver is not really there. Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden has said that currently only rookie Mohammed Sanu rivals Tate as the front runners for the starting job, looking great in OTA drills.
Of course he does. He is the only other player who has gone through OTAs before. Last season’s rookies, Ryan Whalen and Amon Binns, were locked out or not on the team yet. Sanu and fellow rookie Marvin Jones haven’t had the luxury of any experience in the NFL. Remember that Tate was brought as a return specialist, not a receiver, last year when Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell were the most proven names on the roster and AJ Green was still a hopeful. If a receiver who was released from the Patriots wasn’t slated for play over a few rookies last year, then why the major consideration for him now?