The Cincinnati Bengals generally, though not always, prefer having three tight ends on their active roster. Behind starter and two-time Pro Bowler Jermaine Gresham and Orson Charles, last year's fourth-round selection out of Georgia, the Bengals have an opening with Richard Quinn, a regular on the gameday inactive list, entering free agency.
During this week's intense iteniary with teams, Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert confirmed that the Bengals were one of the teams that he formally interviewed with. While formal interviews are exactly that, there are hundreds of informal chats between prospects and teams meeting along the way (like in the hallway).
Eifert posted 50 receptions for 685 yards receiving with four touchdowns during his senior season last year.
There are questions about the tight end's blocking, a necessity if the Bengals plan to draft another tight end that would be limited as the third player on the team's depth chart.
"Blocking has been what everyone said I was lacking," Eifert said. "So I've spent a lot of time working on my blocking with coaches, working on the technique things. The little things like footwork and hand placement. It's the little things that make a big difference."
"I think I'm better," Eifert added. "I'm still not where I want to be. There is still a lot of room to improve. I've made a conscious effort to improve, and I think I have."
Of course it seems unlikely that Cincinnati selects a tight end projected in the first two rounds. However the Bengals also have to plan for a contingency regarding Jermaine Gresham, whose contract expires after the 2014 season.
Unless the idea is to use Eifert in conjunction with Gresham and Orson during redzone situations (perhaps even splitting Gresham out), we really don't see this going anywhere.