Bengals roster: Highlighting the competition for 3rd wide receiver spot

Cincinnati Bengals v San Francisco 49ers
Cincinnati Bengals v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals had to make some tough financial decisions this off-season and let some notable names who have been staples of Bengals culture leave. Those names include Joe Mixon, D.J. Reader, and Tyler Boyd, among others.

The Bengals were quick to jump on Zach Moss to replace Mixon after they traded him to the Houston Texans, as well as continuing to develop Chase Brown, who could be the next man up at the running back position.

Reader was replaced by Sheldon Rankins, who is a very solid addition from the free agent market for Lou Anarumo's defense. The defense remains mostly in tact outside of losing Reader and Chidobe Awuzie. They have built their foundation through the NFL Draft, as well as bringing back safety Vonn Bell and signing Geno Stone, who led the AFC in interceptions last season. 

On the offensive side of the ball losing a veteran like Boyd hurts, but the Bengals have a lot of talent ready to be showcased at the receiver position. Cincinnati drafted Jermaine Burton in the third round of the NFL Draft, and are bringing back the bulk of the wide receiver room from last season. However, Boyd's vacant role feels like it's still very up for grabs among four different wideouts. 

Who will take over Tyler Boyd's vacant spot?

Over the last three years, Trenton Irwin has played a massive role when his name is called upon. He always steps up and delivers, and he will have a shot to show why he should be the third wideout behind Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Irwin has the ability to play in and outside the slot and is not afraid of a little contact either. 

Last season, the Bengals spent two of their draft picks on wide receivers. Both contributed a capped amount in 2023. Andrei Iosivas, who has a big frame and an astounding catch radius when attacking the football, showed glimpses of his skillset during his rookie campaign. Iosivas was productive when he got on the field, especially in the red zone, hauling in four touchdowns. 

Then, there's the speedy Charlie Jones, who was mostly used as a punt returner during his rookie season. Jones battled a thumb injury that held him out a chunk of the season and landed him on IR, but he will be a serious player to keep an eye on. Jones was one of the best receivers in all of college football during his last year at Purdue. 

Lastly, Jermaine Burton will have his shot to compete for this role as well. Burton has all the attributes to be an extremely effective wide receiver at the pro level and showed them at Alabama and Georgia during his collegiate career. Burton has smooth footwork off the line of scrimmage that allows him to create separation at the start of his route. 

Burton finished last year with 39 receptions, 798 yards, a 20.5 average per reception, and eight touchdowns. He surpassed 400 or more yards in all four of his collegiate seasons and won the National Championship with Georgia. 

Expect a sporadic interchange of these four receivers throughout the course of the season. You will see them all get their fair share of opportunities to get onto the field, and as the Bengals approach training camp, the competition at the receiver position will be the most intriguing to watch.