3 intriguing position battles for the Bengals in 2023

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Wide Receiver

Like with the running back position, the starters here are set in stone and don't give any room for debate. Unless a trade were to happen or some other major roster move, the stars of the receiver room are, for the third straight year, going to be Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. That's how it's been, and that's how it's going to be until one of them (most likely Higgins or Boyd) inevitably signs with another team.

However, here too we have an interesting battle for the first next man up and with arguably more options than for RB2. Not only to fill in for an injury if that were to happen like it did to Chase for a good chunk of last year (as well as Boyd and Higgins for individual games), but also to potentially rotate in to add another dynamic to throw off opposing defenses.

Right now, fourth-rounder Charlie Jones is listed as WR4 on the depth chart, however, unlike our starters, that isn't set in stone. Jones not only offers physicality in the receiving room but has some speed to his name as well, achieving a 40-yard dash time of 4.43 seconds, which, according to Pro Football Network, is a tenth of a second above the average time for an NFL wide receiver.

However, he isn't a proven option, given that he is a rookie. For someone who we know can exceed in this role, look no further than Trenton Irwin, who was surprisingly reliable when he stepped up after Chase went down with a hip injury midway through the season and missed over a month of football.

As WR4, Irwin finished with 15 receptions for 231 yards and four scores-- and even had what was his best game against New England after Ja'Marr Chase had already come back, a game in which he scored two touchdowns, both coming in the first half.

There's also their sixth-round pick out of Princeton, Andrei Iosivas. Most likely the Ivy League graduate will be relegated to mostly Special Teams duties in his rookie year, but who knows? Maybe he breaks out in training camp and impresses the staff enough to earn that WR4 spot.

Of course, there are other less likely options like Trent Taylor and Stanley Morgan, who also mostly get playtime in special teams snaps, as well as Kwamie Lassiter II (someone many fans wanted to see get some action in the regular season). There are also two more UDFA additions in the position, those being Shedrick Jackson from Auburn and former Miami (OH) Redhawk Mac Hippenhammer.

Again, long shots, but still a possibility.