Trent Irwin and Stanley Morgan
The Bengals drafted two wide receivers in this year’s draft. The idea behind this was to prepare for the eventual loss of Tyler Boyd and possibly Tee Higgins next off-season. The team may want to carry rookies Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas on the active roster and not expose them to waivers.
However, adding two wideouts to the roster while Boyd and Higgins are still here (thankfully) leaves two fewer spots on the active roster for receivers to occupy.
Last season, the Bengals held on to seven wideouts on the final cutdown day. Expect the same this year. Consider Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins, Boyd, and Jones as locks.
Trent Taylor is one of the best punt returners in the NFL. Among players with enough returns to be eligible, Taylor was sixth in the NFL in yards per return and fourth in total yards returned. His 10.3 NFL punt yards per return are better than Jones’ career 8.1 and bests Jones’ best 10.1 in 2020. Taylor can, and has, contributed to the passing game. He is also an option to return kickoffs if needed.
If everyone is healthy, look for three receivers on last year’s active roster, Stanley Morgan, Kwamie Lassiter II, and Trenton Irwin, to compete for the seventh and final roster spot.
They are not the only ones in this situation. With 90 players on team rosters heading into training camp, at least 37 players from each team are on thin ice. More than that, considering those at the bottom of the depth chart will remain on thin ice as teams maneuver around injuries and waiver wires.
Injuries and possible trades would change everything, of course. For now, however, there are not a lot of questions to be answered about who the guys at the top of the roster will be for the Cincinnati Bengals. However, with the talent acquired this offseason at key positions, a few players will undoubtedly feel the heat as they are on thin ice.