Bengals: Draft visit gives clues to potential 2021 receiver targets

IOWA CITY, IOWA- DECEMBER 12: Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette #6 of the Iowa Hawkeyes catches a pass during the first half in front of cornerback Donte Burton #4 of the Wisconsin Badgers at Kinnick Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
IOWA CITY, IOWA- DECEMBER 12: Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette #6 of the Iowa Hawkeyes catches a pass during the first half in front of cornerback Donte Burton #4 of the Wisconsin Badgers at Kinnick Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Austin Watkins (Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports) /

Bengals wide receiver targets: Austin Watkins, UAB

When receivers possess size and speed, their draft stock tends to rocket. It’s still confounding to see why a player like Austin Watkins is often tagged as a late day two player. Had the receiver played in the SEC, you would have to think his stock could be higher.

Of course, NFL scouts may see things differently and Watkins could be long gone before the Bengals are on the clock at pick 69, the range they would likely target him in.

Watkins was a beneficiary of the bigger college football conferences delaying the start of their season. He got the chance to show off his talent with seven catches for 72 yards in the season opener against Central Arkansas before exploding for 183 yards and a touchdown against South Alabama.

That time in the national spotlight highlighted the completeness of Watkins’ game. His powerful 6’3, 210-pound frame allowed him to bully cornerbacks while retaining the long, smooth speed that makes him a deep threat.

A good showing in Mobile during Senior Bowl week will only have helped to strengthen his draft stock. This clip below shows the combination of speed and route running that a team like the Bengals will love.

The prospect of Joe Burrow throwing to Higgins, Boyd, and Watkins is mouth-watering.

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