Bengals rookie wide receiver making a strong impression at OTAs

Cincinnati may have landed a gem in the 2024 NFL Draft.
NFL Combine
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With Tyler Boyd’s departure to Tennessee and the uncertainty surrounding Tee Higgins, it's far to raise the question of who else -- besides Ja’Marr Chase -- will step up into a more distinctive wide receiver role for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2024.

One name to keep an eye on is rookie Jermaine Burton, who has been extremely impressive throughout offseason practices so far. The Bengals selected Burton in the third round of the '24 draft, and he could potentially play a prominent role for the team next season.

The Burrow-Burton connection

Throughout the early sessions of practices, we have seen multiple glimpses of the Joe Burrow-Burton connection, and they seem to be working extremely hard to understand each other's tendencies and play styles.

Burrow has been a leader since the day he was drafted, but now heading into year five, he has all the experience under his belt. This year, it is critically important that he gels well with all of the young wide receivers stepping into more prominent roles. The Bengals not only have Burton, but there's also Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas, who were both drafted last year.

Forming those connections is very important because as of right now given the uncertainty at the position, and especially Higgins. The hope is that he will be out on the field for the Bengals, but in the scenario is that he's not, that would open up more on-field opportunity for the younger receivers.

Burton was a very successful and consistent collegiate wideout, playing at both Georgia and Alabama. He seems to be a sponge ready to learn everything he can so he can make an impact right from the get-go. When talking about Joe Burrow, Burton said to Jeremy Rauch of FOX, “That’s the man. I like learning how he likes certain things and details on things.”

Burton has an explosive tenacity. His speed isn't John Ross crazy, but it’s noticeable, and his route running is advanced. He is very good at creating separation, and Burrow has already gotten in his ear about different ways to do it at an effective level. College and the NFL are very different. There will be growing pains, there will be mistakes. But the fact of the matter is you can tell when a wide receiver has it, and wants it. Jermaine Burton has all the tools and has been showing all the signs at OTAs.