Tweet-Bag: Rex Burkhead And The Bengals Wide Receiver Roster


We respond to a few questions on twitter.

@ BoatsAndHoes (apparently a Vikings fan) asks:

"Do you think that Rex Burkhead will make the team and get some carries?"

Yes. Let me amend that. Yes, provided that he displays the versatility on special teams and offense that's expected.

Look at the scenarios. Unless Bernard Scott is the best running back from now until final cuts, he's climbing the wall that was historically build by Bran The Builder. Will his torn ACL be rehabilitated enough? He was cleared to train in March. Will durability be a continuing theme? Scott was a depth signing if the NFL draft didn't play out the way Cincinnati had hoped. Remaining a contingency for unforeseen injury among the other running backs, Scott's chances to make the 53-man roster are slim. But they're better than Boom's.

Daniel Herron, while effective enough on special teams with two blocks last season, hasn't shown significant effectiveness (or promise) on offense. Even after Scott was out for most of the season last season, Herron only carried the football four times (1.3 yard/rush average) behind the one-man show of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Andy Dalton was second on the team with 47 runs and Cedric Peerman (36 rushes), Brian Leonard (33) and even Bernard Scott (8) had more carries. Included on the list of more carries than Herron are wide receivers Andre Hawkins and Mohamed Sanu.

Admittedly Herron didn't sign onto the team's active roster until December 4, 2012 and played only three games, so maybe it's not completely fair -- but then it says something considering that Scott was placed on Injured Reserve in early October. In the end, playing and performing on special teams is important. Playing and performing on special teams and offense is even more important.

Unfortunately for Herron, the Bengals are very high on Rex Burkhead:

"Just the quickness in line, the ability to stick his foot in the ground and go from Point A to Point B," said Lewis following the second practice on Friday. "Just the things you saw from him on tape. His abilities as a receiver. I think he’ll be a guy also who will really uplift us on special teams and compete to be one of our core guys."

"We had a need and we filled it with two guys. (Giovani) Bernard and Burkhead are both good in that role," Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden says. "They'll be competing for the third-down spot."

"(Burkhead has) got great feet and quick; it's what we thought we had," Gruden said during minicamp weekend. "He's a great option for us. He's little bit thicker and bigger to handle the pass protection. He's tough as nails, we know that."

Herron really doesn't have a chance.

@Neal Angleberger asks:

"What wide receiver do you think will be on the team? And what will their roles be?"

If Cincinnati goes with six receivers this year (they kept seven last year), I'm comfortable enough saying A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Andrew Hawkins, Brandon Tate and Cobi Hamilton. If they keep a seventh, then Ryan Whalen. Tate might become a bubble player if another return specialist makes an impressive showing this summer. That being the case, we'll go with Whalen over Tate on a six-man roster.

Green will be Green. Sanu will be an effective component as a chess piece in the redzone. I expect that Sanu and Marvin Jones will play 50/50 between the twenties. Hawkins will be a slot receiver, but Tyler Eifert could eat into his playing time. Additionally I think slot receiver is the least defined right now, which could factor Sanu into three-man formations at times.

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