Oct 10, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights Tyler Kroft (86) scores a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the second quarter at Papa John
Tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals is a position that raises the blood pressure of most Bengals fans. Everything from the frustrations of former Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham, to watching then second-year tight end Tyler Eifert go down in game one last season with a season-ending elbow injury. Needless to say, production out of the tight end position has not been what the Bengals expected.
When Eifert went down last season, Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson admitted that Eifert was a big part of the Bengals offensive scheme and had to make adjustments around his absence. Fifth-year player Jermaine Gresham played okay throughout the year, but fans have had enough waiting for this guy to live up to his potential. This offseason, the Bengals addressed this issue, and only waited until the third round to do so.
With the 85th pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Tyler Kroft from Rutgers. Here is the answer, a 6’6”, 240-pound catching and blocking tight end, from the Big Ten. The Bengals graded Kroft as their highest tight end and made no hesitation in drafting their man. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is even quoted as saying, “A good fit for what we were looking for in this draft – literally the best of the tight end prospects.”
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Enter this equation into the Bengals offseason. On one hand, there is first round pick, Tyler Eifert, whom Bengals fans haven’t seen, completely healthy, and his complement, rookie tight end Tyler Kroft. Each Tyler brings something to the table, something a little different, but more importantly, a potential two-headed monster that won’t be easily stopped.
Bengals fans have seen enough of fifth-year quarterback Andy Dalton to know that he needs help. He isn’t the kind of quarterback that will singlehandedly take over a football game, and the two Tylers at tight end will offer that help. More importantly, Kroft and Eifert will allow other players to get open down the field, opening up the entire field of play for Dalton. If these two can stay healthy, and Kroft learns his responsibility as a rookie, watch out, because the two Tylers can spell double trouble.