When it comes to the biggest weakness on the Cincinnati Bengals roster, it's not a big surprise to see Brad Spielberger of PFF list tight end as the Bengals' weakness through five weeks. They haven't gotten much out of free-agent addition Irv Smith Jr., who missed two games and has caught just five passes so far.
Spielberger thinks the Bengals should sign current Houston Texans tight end Dalton Schultz next offseason.
"Schultz got off to a slow start with his new team but broke out in a major way the past two weeks with 10 catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Schultz is also a plus blocker in the run and pass games and could bring major stability to the Bengals' tight end room even if his ceiling is as a very good but not great player."- Brad Spielberger
Bengals should zero in on Dalton Schultz in free agency next offseason
The Bengals lost Hayden Hurst in free agency earlier this year after he went on to sign a three-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. Despite all of the talented names at the position in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Bengals didn't spend a single pick on a tight end.
Irv Smith Jr. was who they signed to be the next tight end to benefit from Joe Burrow and so far, he hasn't done that. Smith had an oft-injured label before coming to Cincinnati and so far, that's proven true as he's already missed multiple games.
Schultz, however, has appeared in all five games for the Texans while catching 17 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He's only on a one-year deal with Houston so he'll hit free agency again this spring and the Bengals should try to pounce on signing him. He'd be a huge addition to this offense.
Spielberger also listed a potential draft prospect the Bengals could add at the tight end position and it's Iowa's Luke Lachey. Iowa is a tight end factory, producing the likes of George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, and most recently, Sam LaPorta. Lachey could be yet another dominant tight end to emerge from Iowa City.
Lachey had just shy of 400 yards with four touchdowns during the 2022 season. He'd add physicality to this Bengals offense and give them a solid new weapon for Burrow for the next four or five years.
The Bengals will certainly need to do more work at the tight end position this offseason than they did this past spring. Adding Schultz and/or Lachey would be an excellent way to shore up a weakness.