Even though the Bengals have a decent, albeit unproven when working together, starting receiver duo in Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant, there's a lot of uncertainty afterwards. While seemingly strong to start last season, Andre Caldwell failed to record 35 yards receiving or more in his final nine games. Jerome Simpson has been inactive in 22 of the team's 32 games since being drafted in second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He was active in two games in 2008, but didn't touch the field and of the eight games he's actually played, he recorded a one reception for two yards in his career. For some reason, I think that you're actually well aware of that.
Quan Cosby seems impressive enough, playing well in a special teams role, returning 40 punts for an 11.9 yards-per-return average, ranking fifth in the NFL among players that returned a punt 10 times or more. His 474 yards on punt return shattered the Bengals old record, set by Mike Martin in 1984 with 376 yards on punt returns. Matt Jones signed in February as the team's reclamation project. The Bengals wide receiver roster is rounded out with Maurice Purify, Chris Davis and Freddie Brown.
This is why most Bengals fans are open to drafting Dez Bryant if he's there by the time the Bengals select 21st in the 2010 NFL Draft. This is why most Bengals fans are fine with the team signing Terrell Owens, even now. After the team's starting wide receivers, there's nothing there that makes you explode with joy. No.
Is there potential there? Sure. Andre Caldwell is taking it upon himself to do Chad's offseason training in the boxing ring to become a better receiver. Simpson was given an endorsement by Marvin Lewis, making us think that this was it for the young receiver. But Simpson has made impressive receptions in the preseason before. Cosby's role as a receiver increased as the regular season came to a close, including three receptions for 47 yards receiving against the San Diego Chargers. In that game, Cosby caught a 23-yard pass in the fourth quarter setting up a field goal to tie that game at 24.
So yea, the Bengals are targeting receivers in this year's NFL draft. Is it a necessity? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps the Bengals will draft someone that they really like, but not force themselves to draft any receiver simply to draft a receiver. If Bryant is there, I believe they jump on it. If they don't, they could look later in the draft.
One player that the Bengals could to draft is University of Connecticut's Marcus Easley, who is scheduled to workout with the Bengals next week, writes National Football Post's Joe Fortenbaugh.
The senior wideout caught 48 passes for 893 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games for the 8-5 Huskies in 2009. Easley posted five 100+ yard outings and ranked fourth in receiving yards and fifth in touchdown receptions in the Big East last season.
In addition to working out for the Bengals, Easley met with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns last week.
Mocking the Draft doesn't rank Easley, who is ranked as the fifth best prospect in this year's draft.