Bold predictions for the Bengals’ other six rookies in 2020

Cincinnati Bengals, Tee Higgins (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Tee Higgins (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
2 of 7
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Tee Higgins (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Bengals rookies: Tee Higgins will struggle to get targets

After Burrow, former Clemson receiver Tee Higgins is the Bengals’ second-most talented rookie heading into 2020. With 135 receptions, 2,448 yards, and 27 touchdowns in his college career, the second-round draft selection proved he could ball out. However, with Cincinnati’s loaded group of receivers, Higgins could struggle to get the targets he deserves in year one.

Besides Higgins, the Bengals have A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross III, and Auden Tate at the wide receiver position. These four receivers are very talented themselves, each with more NFL experience than the rookie. All five of these receivers are bound to get targets, meaning a player like Higgins could find himself lost in the fray at times.

As long as they stay healthy, Green and Boyd are bound to be the Bengals’ most targeted receivers in 2020. While it will be a fight for third place between Higgins, Ross, and Tate, the player with the most unique skillset is Ross. His blazing speed provides an explosiveness to the offense that no other Bengal can. Because of this, Ross could be in line to be the third option in Zac Taylor’s offense.

The biggest issue for Higgins’ target share in 2020 is that he is essentially an A.J. Green lite. As talented as the rookie is, his skillset directly compares to Green, a seven-time Pro Bowler. While it wouldn’t hurt to have them both on the field at the time, there may be situations where only one is needed, and Green is just the better receiver at this time.

Talent at the wide receiver position aside, Taylor’s offense will be led by a rookie quarterback this season. Rookies are prone to mistakes and Burrow will be no exception. Because of this, the Bengals may look to have a more run-heavy offense in 2020, especially with the talent they have at running back.

Put this all together and it is hard to see how Higgins will get a high number of targets as a rookie. The former Clemson receiver will get his time to shine as the receiver group thins out in the next offseason or two, but for now, Higgins may be left behind in the Cincinnati offense.