Bengals: Tight end depth chart after 2021 NFL Draft

Cincinnati Bengals, Drew Sample (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Drew Sample (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Bengals probably should have drafted a tight end with one of their 10 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft but they opted not to. By not grabbing one, the Bengals indicated that they believe in Drew Sample and think he’s the guy at tight end.

When looking at the position as a whole, it’s not going to wow anyone. Sample was fine a year ago, grabbing 40 receptions for 349 yards and one touchdown through 13 starts. He appeared in all 16 games and stepped up when 2019 starter C.J. Uzomah missed most of the season due to injury.

Here are the tight ends listed on the Bengals’ official roster:

  • Thaddeus Moss
  • Drew Sample
  • Mason Schreck
  • C.J. Uzomah
  • Pro Wells
  • Mitchell Wilcox

The Bengals have five tight ends on their roster as of now.

Despite needing another tight end, the position isn’t hard to break down for Cincinnati. Sample and Uzomah will be the top two tight ends and the others will fight for the third spot on the roster and/or a practice squad spot.

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The other four players haven’t appeared in an NFL game as a tight end. Schreck spent some time on special teams and that could be what helps him land on the team in the final available tight end spot, but the fact of the matter is that any of these guys could make the team with a solid training camp and preseason.

Moss played with Joe Burrow at LSU so that could help skew things in his favor as far as making the roster. Having a previous connection with Burrow already established is definitely a plus for anyone in Cincinnati.

While the Bengals didn’t draft a tight end, they did sign Wells as a UDFA out of TCU. The Horned Frog tight end had 195 receiving yards along with three touchdowns through seven games in the 2020 season. There’s some intrigue there with Wells for sure.

Wilcox, like the rest of these guys, hasn’t done much in the NFL to this point of his career. He’ll have his work cut out for him trying to make the Bengals’ roster or landing a practice squad spot.

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It’s a good sign that the Bengals’ biggest question marks at tight end are with the depth pieces and not the starters. Sample and Uzomah have worked together the past two years and with Uzomah’s injury a season ago, Sample was able to get more starting reps and show what he could do in that role. He’ll need to have a big season if he wants to keep the TE1 job.