Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Kroft’s Role Should Increase Significantly

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December 20, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Kroft (81) scores a touchdown against San Francisco 49ers free safety Eric Reid (35) and cornerback Dontae Johnson (36) during the second quarter at Levi
December 20, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Kroft (81) scores a touchdown against San Francisco 49ers free safety Eric Reid (35) and cornerback Dontae Johnson (36) during the second quarter at Levi /
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The Cincinnati Bengals have another potential offensive weapon right across the line from Tyler Eifert, but can he adjust to Dalton’s playing style?

Tyler Kroft exited his rookie season with a lot more experience than many thought, since the Bengals are known for sitting rookies. However, it was not with the Bengals starting quarterback, Andy Dalton. Instead, Kroft found himself excelling with A.J. McCarron, since Eifert and Dalton were both injured in Pittsburgh last season.

In week 14, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the rookie tight end started to break out of his shell with back up quarterback, A.J. McCarron. McCarron and Kroft were both second on the depth chart and worked together in practice, well before Dalton dislocated his thumb. Kroft went from two catches for 21 yards, to 11 catches for 129 yards in just 3 games.

His potential in year two could be dangerous to defenses around the league. The Bengals were originally wanting a dual threat at tight end when they draft Tyler Eifert to play with Jermaine Gresham, which we all know how that ended. Now, Kroft will get a chance to give the Bengals that dual threat capability, if he can continue to grow in his tight end two role. 

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The Bengals open training camp in July, and we already know that Tyler Eifert will be missing in action due to ankle surgery. This means Kroft will be working heavily with the first team and Andy Dalton. If Eifert can’t go week one, Kroft will also be expected to get the nod as the starting tight end.

Bengals fans are fortunate to have seen a preview of what Kroft’s potential can be, even against a good defense like Denver. It is exciting to think the Bengals could have two tight ends that defenses must take seriously, which gives players like A.J. Green, Brandon LaFell, and Tyler Boyd, more one on one opportunities. It could give the Bengals the edge they need this season to win the elusive playoff game.

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