The Bengals have a promising group at wide receiver but not much playing experience. The projected depth chart for the Bengals shows rookie A.J. Green leading the group, with Jerome Simpson as the team’s No. 2.
Green has been all the talk of Bengals’ practices so far, and whether it is a shot at his former receivers or not, Marvin Lewis says he is an upgrade over last year’s group. Green is 6’4” but has the athletic abilities and body movement of a smaller possession receiver. What may be more awe inspiring is the rave reviews he is drawing from some of his veteran teammates on defense, who think he may already be in the top tier of receivers.
Green has the ability, there is no doubt but will he have the opportunity? Maybe, Green’s productivity as a receiver hinges on whether or not Andy Dalton can get him the ball. In a division weak in pass coverage, however, Green should have his fair share of mismatches so it will just be up to Dalton to see them.
Jerome Simpson really came on strong last season and will challenge Green for receptions this season. He will undoubtedly see lots of playing time, but don’t expect anything big from Simpson. The Bengals are going to run the ball more often than not, and when they do pass it will be to Green.
Jordan Shipley also showed some flashes in 2010 and will be the team’s slot receiver. In Gruden’s offense Shipley will play the role of Wes Welker, going over the middle for short gains. There is some concern through training camp, however, that Shipley has taken a step back after suffering a concussion last season. If Shipley can bounce back he would be an interesting addition in deep, deep PPR leagues.