In 2012, the Bengals selected Mohamed Sanu in the third round. They followed that with the selection of Marvin Jones in the 5th round. Back then, the Bengals snatched both players, because there was a big hole opposite A.J. Green. Jerome Simpson was gone and Armon Binns was out as well.
Fast forward four years and the Bengals are in the same situation. Once again, they’re filling the hole opposite A.J. Green. Marvin Jones left for Detroit and Sanu left for Atlanta, after having very good careers in Cincinnati. In order to make up for the loss, the Bengals double-dipped at the position once again. The Bengals selected Tyler Boyd in the second round and then took Cody Core in the sixth round.
Boyd is already Sanu’s clone and Cody Core is very Marvin Jones-like himself. My question? Can Boyd and Core be better than Sanu and Jones?
Sanu was the all-purpose man on the field for the Bengals. He caught the ball, rushed the rock and even passed (better than Dalton at times). As a Bengal, he caught 152 passes for 1,793 yards and 11 touchdowns. He rushed the ball 26 times for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns, with an average of 5.9 yards per carry. He also boasted a 100.0 completion percentage under center.
Boyd, on the other hand, has every opportunity to be better than his predecessor. Everything Sanu did, Boyd did at Pittsburgh. In three seasons at Pitt, Boyd was asked to play running back, dominate the slot and pass on occasion.
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On his way to breaking almost every receiving record at Pitt, Boyd put up 3,361 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns on 254 receptions. On the ground, he piled up 520 yards and one touchdown on 63 carries. Lastly, he passed four times for a completion percentage of 75.0.
Boyd is practically stepping into Cincinnati and playing the same role that he played in Pitt and the same role Sanu played. However, it’s slightly different.
At Pitt, Boyd was asked to be the go-to-guy. In Cincinnati, he will probably never see that role. With Green, Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard as options, it’s hard to see the Bengals asking much more. His duty? Play in the slot and win his one-on-one matchups.
Boyd’s role differs from Sanu’s. Behind the talent at wide receiver and check down, Sanu was the fifth or sixth option. Boyd has the chance to be the third or fourth…this season. I personally think Boyd is going to be a tougher matchup problem than Sanu.
In terms of Jones and Core, I’m not sure if Core can reach the level of Jones. Then again, who thought Jones would be as good as he was, when the Bengals took him in the fifth round?
Marvin Jones compiled 1,729 yards and 15 touchdowns, in Cincinnati. However, Jones’ impact was not felt on individual stats. He was a force on the crucial third-and-longs or fourth downs. Core’s Ole Miss career can be summed up by 83 receptions, 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns. Otherwise, he’s known for basking in the shadows of Laquon Treadwell.
"“We drafted a guy a few years ago very similar to that in Marvin Jones, who got an opportunity here and was able to take true advantage of it. He saw his athletic skills continue to blossom, and we’re hopeful that Cody’s skills continue to do the same thing.”"
I’m not sure if Core can reach Jones’ level, but he has the opportunity. Cincinnati has drafted very well as of late, finding players like Mario Alford, James Wright and now Core. If Boyd and Core can be better than Sanu and Jones, I think Boyd will be better than Sanu. However, Core is going to need a few years to reach Jones’ level.