As we pointed out Thursday morning, we're configuring the best Bengals lineup since Cincinnati last appeared in the Super Bowl (1988 season, 1989 calendar year). We'll go through each position, provide the candidates, give you my pick, and then you guys debate/poll the winners.
We've reached the final selection group in our poll that features a trio of great tight ends that played for Cincinnati over the past two decades.
Tony McGee: A second-round pick from the 1993 NFL draft, McGee was a consistent threat during his nine-year career in Cincinnati. During his 136 games played with the Bengals, McGee generated 3,795 yards receiving on 299 receptions with 20 scores. Cincinnati had a fairly productive lineup with McGee, Carl Pickens, and Darney Scott in the passing game. Unfortunately, they never had a consistent quarterback to get them the football.
Jermaine Gresham (two Pro Bowls, two postseason appearances): In only three seasons in the NFL, Gresham has already made two Pro Bowl rosters and been the starting tight end for two playoff runs in '11 and '12. And the overall production continues to grow each season.
Reggie Kelly (one postseason appearance): Kelly was part of the veteran free agents that Marvin Lewis worked hard to bring into Cincinnati when he was first hired. With a roster that included Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chris Henry, it would have been difficult to give Kelly a share of the action. However, Kelly was more than that. Along with primarily being a blocking tight end that began lining up as an H-Back later during his tenure in Cincinnati, Kelly was an invaluable leader and mentor to many of the team's younger players.