4. Andrew Hawkins has already solidified his roster spot for the 2012 season.
Hawkins is a do-it-all type player. The coaching staff of the Bengals are well aware of this. He has proved himself as a valuable slot receiver as he has been sharing first team reps with Sanu and Jordan Shipley in the slot. Hawkins a a huge threat in space and has great hands as he has already shown in training camp by exciting the crowd with a tip-drill type circus catch. He played almost the entire season in 2011 and quarterback Andy Dalton is very used to throwing with Hawkins and is comfortable with him. Hawkins is too dangerous of a weapon at receiver to let go.
Not only is Hawkins a tremendous slot receiver, but he is the single most valuable player on special teams as well. Hawkins has proven his worth to the team as a gunner on punt coverage as he is able to slide by punt protectors and use his speed to get down the field quickly to force the punt returner to make a fair catch. Hawkins is one of the biggest reasons the Bengals flourished last season in punt return coverage. Hawkins also has a great ability as a punt and kick returner. As mentioned before, he is so very dangerous in space and on kickoffs and punt returns, that is exactly what he gets to work with. He can be a very valuable asset to the Bengals simply because of how many different roles he can play on this team. Being that he can do all of these things, keeping Hawkins on the roster will free up other roster spots that the Bengals may have had to use for the positions on special teams in which Hawkins excels.