Bengals Draft Profile: Are the A.J. Green Comparisons Warranted for Tee Higgins?

The Cincinnati Bengals are likely going to be looking for a wide receiver early in the 2020 NFL Draft. Tee Higgins is a prospect who could be seen as an eventual replacement for A.J. Green, as the two have similar styles of play.

The 2020 NFL Draft has a loaded wide receiver class. Because of this, Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins has not gotten the attention that a receiver of his caliber would get in a typical draft class. A player who would likely go in the first round could fall as far as the third round, and there will be one lucky team who gets a steal in the former Tigers’ wideout.

Higgins is a wide receiver who has drawn many comparisons to Bengals’ star A.J. Green. While that is a heavy comparison to live up to, he certainly has many similarities in his game to the 7x Pro Bowler. Higgins himself claims to be a Bengals fan and says he models his game after Green.

Strengths:

Elite size for a wide receiver, Higgins measured in at 6-foot-4 and 216 pounds. He played all three receiver spots at Clemson so he has shown he can be moved around in an offense. He has a unique catch radius that can be among the best in the National Football League. His hands are great. He frequently makes highlight-reel worthy catches, even through contact. He has a real knack for adjusting to and tracking balls while they are in the air, regularly putting himself in the best position to catch the ball. He played in two National Championships with Clemson, including a National Title win in 2018, so he has experience in a winning culture.

Weaknesses:

Due to being a bigger receiver, Higgins is just marginal when it comes to athletic ability. He could also stand to add some physicality to his game. For such a big receiver, you would like to see him play more physically. He gets beat up by strong press coverage and has an unimpressive press release. He has a limited route tree and needs to add to that if he can be a number one receiver for an NFL team. Won’t scare teams after the catch, he isn’t powerful enough to break many tackles or elusive enough to make defenders miss.

Overview:

Tee Higgins projects favorably as a number two receiver in the NFL and certainly has the potential to develop into an offense’s number one option. His ceiling is very high if he can become more physical and work on his route running. While it would take a lot of development to become a player of A.J. Green’s caliber, teams looking for a similar receiver could take a chance on the wideout from Clemson.

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In this deep wide receiver class, Higgins will likely go in the middle of the second round. He may be a reach at their current spot, but if the Bengals don’t like their other options at the 33rd pick, he could be the guy. He would be more likely to become a Bengal if they traded back from 33 or if he were to fall to the 65th pick. He could develop behind the receiver who he models his game after and be an eventual heir to Green’s throne in Cincinnati.