Bengals wide receiver targets: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa
Since Smith-Marsette already has some buzz with the Bengals, let’s take a look at him first.
The Iowa receiver saw action in all four years as a Hawkeye. He spent his first two seasons down the receiving pecking order behind two well-known tight ends. Once Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson had departed for the NFL, it was Smith-Marsette’s turn to be Nate Stanley’s number one target.
While he didn’t put up monster numbers, Smith-Marsette did finish his collegiate career with 14 touchdowns and averaged over 14 yards per catch. Add into that his record as a kick returner and ability to be used on gadget plays, you have an extremely versatile offensive weapon.
In terms of size, at 6’1 there are no concerns about Smith-Marsette’s ability to stick on the outside. While he is lean and will need to add weight to hold up against more physical corners, his ball-tracking and body control are major plus points.
Most importantly for the Bengals is the speed element to his game. Pro Football Network’s draft analyst Oliver Hodgkinson describes him as such:
"Creativity, speed, explosion, and versatility. These are the things that Ihmir Smith-Marsette brings to the 2021 NFL Draft. Although I couldn’t find a verified 40-yard dash time for the speedster, it isn’t out of the realms of possibility that he runs in the 4.4-second range at Iowa’s Pro Day. Bottom line, Smith-Marsette is not just fast, but his speed is explosive."
If the Bengals are truly looking to add a different dimension to their receiving corps then Ihmir Marsette-Smith should be a name in strong consideration come the middle rounds.