Predicting the winners of the Bengals’ top training camp battles
Bengals’ training camp battles: TE #1
Aside from longtime quarterback Andy Dalton, the Bengals’ biggest offseason loss was tight end Tyler Eifert. In his absence, veteran C.J. Uzomah and 2019 second-round pick Drew Sample will compete for the starting job. While the two will likely have a fairly even snap share, there can only be one true starter.
The clear favorite for the job is Uzomah. The former Auburn Tiger is entering his sixth year with the Bengals and he has earned himself a 3-year, $18,300,000 contract in his time in Cincinnati. However, in his most successful season, he only reached 439 yards and 3 touchdowns, so his potential production is limited.
Sample, on the other hand, has yet to show what he offers in production. The former Washington Husky dealt with injury during his rookie season and failed to see much time on the field. In his college career, he was rarely used in the passing game but showed solid hands in his limited targets.
The tiebreaker between the two could be blocking. Sample was considered by many to be the best blocking tight end in the 2019 draft, and many consider this to be the reason that the Bengals reached to draft him in the second round. If his blocking ability shows in training camp, it could be the edge needed to win the starting job.
Another plus for the second-year tight end is that he is one of the first additions to the Zac Taylor regime. In his first offseason at the Bengals’ helm, the young coach chose to bring Sample in with a premium draft pick. This show of faith by Taylor shows that his staff sees something in the tight end that others have yet to see. Being one of Taylor’s guys, the young tight end should surprise everyone and take the top spot.
Winner: Drew Sample