Auden Tate, Wide Receiver
The final player on this list, Auden Tate, finds himself on what is potentially the strongest position group on the Bengals’ entire roster: the wide receivers. In a receiver group that features players like A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and John Ross, it can be hard to get the recognition or targets you deserve. In 2020, Tate will be a victim of being a part of one of the deepest group of receivers in the entire National Football League.
Tate was a walking highlight reel in 2019. With a receiver group decimated by injuries, the second-year receiver found himself on the field for 59% of the Bengals’ offensive snaps, impressing many along the way. It felt like Tate was making catches worthy of a SportsCenter Top Ten spot on a weekly basis, bringing in catches from outside of any normal receiver’s catch radius with vacuum-like ability.
Tate ended the season with 40 receptions for 575 yards and a touchdown, but if not for shoddy quarterback play, the 6’5 receiver could have had a much stronger season. Unfortunately for Tate, it will be hard to build upon his breakout year in 2020, where he will his playing time will be significantly cut due to the changes in the wide receiver room.
However, if the receivers deal with injuries in 2020 the same way they have in the past two seasons, Tate will be a crucial depth piece who can step up and fill in those shoes to provide a solid weapon for rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. The third-year receiver could also find himself being used rotationally to keep players like Green and Ross fresh and healthy. Given his catch radius, he would also be well suited to be utilized in red-zone packages. Even if snaps and targets may be hard to come by for Tate, he’s a valuable player to have in the best wide receiver group in the NFL.