The Cincinnati Bengals opted not to draft a tight end in the 2023 NFL Draft but did sign Christian Trahan as an undrafted free agent. The Houston Cougar finished the 2022 season with 23 catches for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
It was a bit of a surprise that the Bengals didn't add a tight end in the draft but they obviously feel confident in who they have on the roster. Trahan now will be competing with those players for his shot at making the 53-man roster.
What should Bengals fans expect from Christian Trahan in 2023?
I won't lie -- It'll be an uphill battle for Trahan to make the Bengals roster in 2023.
The Bengals signed Irv Smith Jr. in the offseason to replace Hayden Hurst, who was the latest tight end to benefit from playing with Joe Burrow for a year. Smith has injury problems so no one would have batted an eye if the Bengals drafted a tight end on Day 1 or 2 but they didn't do that.
That means if Smith gets injured, it'll be Drew Sample or Devin Asiasi stepping into the TE1 role. This isn't exactly ideal but the Bengals don't necessarily need a pass-catching tight end in their offense so they'd probably be okay with Sample or Asiasi at the helm.
Trahan also has to fend off Nick Bowers and Tanner Hudson, both of whom are ahead of him on the depth chart. Making the 53-man roster will be a tough-enough task, as Smith, Sample, and Asiasi will likely make up the tight ends kept on the roster but making the practice squad will be a tall task as well with Bowers and Hudson also vying for a spot on the squad.
A solid training camp and preseason could be the difference between Trahan landing on the practice squad and finding another team this summer.