Bengals: Wide receiver depth chart after 2021 NFL Draft

Leigh Oleszczak
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) -Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) -Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Bengals used their first-round pick on wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, improving what was already a solid position. Cincinnati made sure Joe Burrow had his favorite target from LSU at his disposal, but what does the rest of the position look like?

Chase wasn’t selected No. 5 overall to not be the No. 1 wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. His history with Burrow speaks for itself and he’ll be the go-to guy in this recharged Bengals offense. Here’s every wide receiver listed on the Bengals’ official roster (along with a UDFA who is not listed):

  • Tyler Boyd
  • Ja’Marr Chase
  • Tee Higgins
  • Trenton Irwin
  • Riley Lees
  • Stanley Morgan
  • Auden Tate
  • Mike Thomas
  • Scotty Washington

Chase is the No. 1 guy, we’ve established that. As far as who could be behind him, Boyd and Higgins have proved themselves as reliable targets. Boyd had 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019 and had 841 yards this past year while Higgins had 908 yards as a rookie and found the end zone six times. Burrow and him had good chemistry for sure.

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Which other receivers will make the Bengals’ roster?

Tate had an impressive 2019 season but didn’t replicate that success this past year. In 2019, he tallied 40 receptions for 575 yards and a touchdown but this year he had just 14 receptions for 150 yards and didn’t score a touchdown. He’s probably going to make the roster simply due to that successful 2019 season, but he’ll be the No. 4 option.

While Tate will obviously have to fight to earn his spot, he’s likely going to make the roster. The other five guys will be battling it out for the final few roster spots.

Irwin has spent the past two years with the Bengals but hasn’t done much, totaling just one reception for five yards in two games. He’s going to have to prove quite a bit if he wants to make the team this year.

Lees went undrafted out of Northwestern and had 1,093 receiving yards and nine touchdowns over his four-year career with the Wildcats. He’s an intriguing player and could be someone to watch for this summer.

Morgan hasn’t done much with the Bengals, only catching three passes for 18 yards, which he did as a rookie in 2019. He played in six games last year but mostly was a special teams contributor. That experience could help him make the team this year.

Thomas spent last year with the Bengals after having played the first four years of his career with the Rams. He was utilized more in Cincinnati, totaling 137 receiving yards and a touchdown through 14 games.

Washington went undrafted out of Wake Forest last year and didn’t see the field for Cincinnati. He had 1,676 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns through four seasons with the Demon Deacons, including seven touchdowns scored as a senior in 2019.

The Bengals have a good situation at wide receiver with Chase, Boyd, and Higgins as the trio of trouble. If injuries occur, Tate stepping in as the No. 3 option isn’t the worst thing in the world, as he’s shown in years past that he can make some noise when the ball is thrown his way.

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Cincinnati has done a nice job building their receiver corp for Joe Burrow. Now let’s just hope he has time to get the ball to these guys.