Bengals adding third impact WR important in Zac Taylor offense
The Bengals enter the 2021 NFL Draft needing to add a third impact wide receiver. Tyler Boyd is arguably the best slow receiver in the NFL and Tee Higgins was by most measures the third-best rookie WR in 2020. Cincinnati plays three WR sets 82 percent on the time in the Zac Taylor offense.
Playing three WRs places equal importance on the offensive line. With three WRs on the field, the formation will most often utilize one running back and one tight end. Teams rarely use fullbacks in the modern era of football. On a running down, a second TE is more likely to be utilized than a fullback.
With the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the projections on who Cincinnati will choose is split between Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell and LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase. Chase would potentially give the Bengals the best WR group in the NFL. Sewell would help upgrade the Bengals offensive line.
Using three WRs in the formation more than four out of every five plays makes the efficiency of the OL more important than a formerly more traditional pro set formation with a FB. The OL has to be able to block without as much help as teams have in other eras with a TE and often two RBs to help block.
If the Bengals select Sewell with the fifth pick they can draft a WR in the second or even third round who can make an impact playing next to Boyd and Higgins. Getting a third WR who can become a playmaker and upgrading the OL are the priorities for the Bengals in the 2021 NFL Draft.
None of the other WRs currently on the Cincinnati roster have shown the ability to be productive enough to develop into a consistent playmaker. Getting help for franchise quarterback Joe Burrow is the goal entering the 2020 season. The Bengals using three WRs is ahead of the curve and the present and future of the NFL.