Cincinnati Bengals: Five key position battles to watch

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, C.J. Uzomah (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Bengals position battle: Drew Sample or C.J. Uzomah

Joe Burrow was able to thrive at LSU for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest factors in his success is the fact that he had plenty of players that created matchup problems for opposing defenses. He had players across the board who were almost impossible for opposing players to guard one on one. Moving to the NFL, the group of matchup mismatches becomes smaller, but one area that it can shine is with the tight end position.

Across the NFL, tight ends have left their mark on the game by dominating in the red zone and in check down situations.  Unfortunately, the Bengals have not had a dominant tight end in a long time.

Tyler Eifert in his prime year (2015) was a monster who posed all kinds of matchup problems, which is why he was able to rack up 615 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Since then, injuries have prevented him from maintaining his status as a threat.

With Eifert gone, another player needs to step up and fill that role. Last year, C.J. Uzomah started all 16 games but ended up with just 242 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Drew Sample was drafted by Cincinnati in the second round of the 2019 draft but was virtually non-existent as a rookie.

Cincinnati needs one of these two players to separate themselves and become a tight end that must be accounted for by the opposing defense.