Bengals Free Agency

Five under-the-radar 2021 free agents the Bengals should target

Dec 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole (84) catches the ball as Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard (31) closes in during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole (84) catches the ball as Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard (31) closes in during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
4 of 6
Cincinnati Bengals
Keelan Cole [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

Under-the-radar Bengals FA targets: WR Keelan Cole

Cincinnati only has two dependable receivers for the upcoming season: Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Not ideal considering how much Burrow likes to be in five-wide sets. Even after projecting Auden Tate into a larger role, the team still clearly needs to add another proven option before heading into the draft in late April.

With most of the money expected to be spent on Lawson/Jackson III/offensive linemen, they’ll be out of the running for top guys on the market. As far as cheaper options go, Keelan Cole is a quality one.

The former Jacksonville Jaguar has proven he can get it done in all aspects of the game. In 2017 as a rookie, he was a clear deep threat, averaging 17.8 yards per reception, a skill set the Bengals could certainly use. More recently, he’s been asked to fill different roles, but he’s still pieced together solid campaigns.

Speaking of solid campaigns, Cole has been able to put up decent numbers despite playing with lackluster quarterback talent. Could Burrow help him reach new heights?

By adding Cole, the Bengals can feel fairly comfortable with the receiving corps. If Ja’Marr Chase falls to them? Great, Cole will still have a role on special teams and when the offense goes five-wide. If Kyle Pitts is the pick? Not a problem, you still have a proven third wideout. The same logic applies if Penei Sewell is the route they go.

Cole doesn’t necessarily address the speed concerns the Bengals have at wide receiver, but that can be found later in the draft. Prospects such as Austin Watkins and Anthony Schwartz come to mind.

facebooktwitterreddit