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The final, but not the least, rookie storyline to watch is first-rounder Tyler Eifert.
Coming into rookie minicamp earlier this month, Eifert received all of the hype, but it didn’t take long for him to get Marvin Lewis’ endorsement when Lewis referred to Eifert’s game as being “as advertised.”
Eifert’s progress will play a large role in determining just how flexible the Bengals' offense can be this year. If he adapts well and embraces the two-tight end system, the sky’s the limit for offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
However, if Eifert struggles to transition to the professional ranks, the Bengals are limited in their expansion possibilities and could resemble last year’s offense.
While rookie running back Gio Bernard will certainly add versatility to the Bengal offense in terms of skill set, Eifert brings the strategic game-changing ability that keeps defensive coordinators awake at night.
The Bengals have received a lot of praise for their roster management going into the 2013 season, and that’s largely contingent on Eifert’s success.
Cincinnati took a tight end when their needs at safety and running back were probably more dire. However, Eifert was the best player available according to many, and few can fault the pick.
As comes with any first-round draft pick, Eifert's progression is certainly a storyline to watch as we end OTAs and look forward to training camp.