The Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Position(s) Taking Shape

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 11: Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Cincinnati Bengals works out during a rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The culmination of Jordan Shipley's recent release and the rise of Andrew Hawkins happened earlier than expected. When it became noticeable that Shipley was shaking off so much rust that it became questionable if he'd even return to his 2010 form, it felt like a matter of time before Hawkins supplanted Shipley as the team's primary slot receiver.

And now he has.

However he might not be the only slot receiver, according to offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, thanks everything else that Hawkins is responsible for. Enter Mohamed Sanu.

"Hawkins right now is our inside guy," said offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. "But you’re going to need more than one. He gets gassed sometimes. He’s up and down on the kickoffs, he’s on punt return, and we need another one and a different body type. That’s Sanu – he’s a great fit."

In a sense things are starting to come together at the wide receiver position, despite no clear victor at the No. 2 spot -- though in our estimation Brandon Tate has the edge. But like Hawkins, Tate is also a special teams contributor, which mean another rotation or committee situation between he and Armon Binns, much like the slot receiver with Hawkins and Sanu, who can also play the other receiver spots.

If that's the case then that leaves five receivers as your gameday actives with the No 6, who we believe will be won by Marvin Jones, being the inactive receiver -- Bengals typically leave the sixth receiver inactive on game days.

Things do seem to be coming together rather nicely at receiver.

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