The preseason game against the Green Bay Packers will be the most interesting game for the WRs. The Packers had the worst pass defense last year, but also have ball hawks all around the defense. This test will allow Andy Dalton to progress in his decision skills, and allow him to gain a better confidence with some of his receivers. Last year, later down the stretch, many Bengals fans could tell thatDaltonhad lost trust in Jerome Simpson and started to target mainly on AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham. With this new receiving corp however, it seemsDaltonhas enjoyed the success these WRs are having with him. This game against the Packers will allow the coaches to make a better assessment as to where some WRs will go onto the depth chart.
Brandon Tate and Armon Binns have basically been the front runners for the #2 spot across from AJ Green. Many people didn’t know what to think of this because Tate was mainly just a special teams player, and Binns was an undrafted free agent, so many people didn’t expect much from either one. However, in the first preseason game, Tate made some great catches that showed he was sure handed and gave some acrobatic plays as well. Binns used his size to his advantage and showed some deceptive speed. This battle will go down to the wire between these two WRs to see whom makes the #2 WR spot. There have also been rumors that the Bengals will go with a WR by committee approach, so both Tate and Binns could see significant playing time.
Andrew Hawkins was a nice surprise last year with his speed, and by all reports this year he has been having a tremendous camp. He showed that he could be a valuable asset to special teams as well, both on the coverage team and returning. Hawkins has been a nice surprise this camp, and seems to have gained the trust of Dalton. Expect Hawkins to put up some nice numbers and be a quality slot receiver.