Bengals’ Mitchell Wilcox should easily win a TE roster spot in 2022

Mitchell Wilcox, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Mitchell Wilcox, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals were dealt a tough blow when C.J. Uzomah left for the Jets this offseason, but the team’s current tight end unit is shaping up nicely.

The top tight end of the group will likely be former Falcons player Hayden Hurst with Drew Sample coming in second. As for the third tight end spot, Mitchell Wilcox should be a near-lock given what he accomplished on special teams in Cincy last season.

Wilcox featured in 15 games and recorded just three catches for 16 yards, only playing nine percent of offensive snaps. He played 57 percent of specials teams snaps, however, and proved his value as an effective blocker and solid receiver in versatile scenarios.

Mitchell Wilcox’s special teams experience makes him valuable to the Bengals

The 25-year-old will get another year in Cincy to compete for a ring, and while Wilcox probably won’t beat out Sample or Hurst for more offensive snaps, he remains a useful special teams gem on the Bengals.

Wilcox was a free agent signee out of USF in 2020 and spent much of the 2021 season on the Bengals’ practice squad. A three-time all-conference selection, Wilcox served as a important piece in the run-blocking game at USF and can use his expertise to help Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine gain crucial rushing yards.

Behind Wilcox, Thaddeus Moss and Scotty Washington will also get a chance at making the roster, but neither player adds as much production to specials teams as Wilcox does.

Wilcox won’t be making a huge splash in the receiving game, especially when Cincy still has its lethal trifecta of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. He nonetheless offers niche experience that makes him very valuable to the team and he can expect to hear his number called come training camp.

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In 2022, the team may at times miss the locker room presence and on-field swagger of Uzomah, but Cincinnati can confidently march on with a respectable tight end room of Hurst, Sample, and Wilcox.