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Recent History Suggests Armon Binns' Potential May Be Limited

May 22, 2012; Cincinnati, OH USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Armon Binns (85) during organized team activities at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE
May 22, 2012; Cincinnati, OH USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Armon Binns (85) during organized team activities at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE

When the offseason started and Marvin Lewis talked about the need to find more receivers, Armon Binns' name was mentioned as a player that was ready to emerge. It seemed to be smoke leading up to the draft. We believed the Bengals liked Binns, but to what extent?

Then the Bengals selected two receivers in the draft. This surely was a sign that Binns wasn't the answer at wide receiver, right? Through rookie camp (Binns participated) and Organized Team Activities (OTAs), Binns' name has been mention by almost everybody who has seen him practice. At this point, he probably has the edge and would be the starter opposite A.J. Green if a game were played this Sunday. There's definitely fire to this offseason smoke.

Binns looks ready to contribute in 2012, but how much can the Bengals count on an undrafted, second-year (technically first-year) player? It's not crazy for an undrafted receiver to make an impact in the NFL, but recent history suggests that Armon Binns' long term success in the NFL will be as a role player.

Most notable undrafted wide receivers since the year 2000


None of note


Greg Lewis (Eagles)


Malcom Floyd (Chargers), Wes Welker (Dolphins/Pats)


Greg Camarillo (Chargers), Lance Moore (Browns/Saints), Nate Washington (Steelers)


Hank Baskett (Vikings), Miles Austin (Cowboys)


Eric Weems (Falcons)


Danny Amendola (Cowboys/Rams), Davone Bess (Dolphins)


Kevin Ogletree (Cowboys), Quan Cosby (Bengals)


Danario Alexander (Rams), Victor Cruz (Giants), Donald Jones (Bills), David Nelson (Bills), Blair White (Colts)


Doug Baldwin (Seahawks)

This is a very talented list with some go-to types in Austin and Cruz with very good slot receivers such as Amendola, Bess and Nelson. Actually, most of the receivers on this list are either slot receivers or non-FBS (Division I) players. The scouting process should never miss a player that can impact a game like Wes Welker, Austin and Cruz have in their careers. With the amount of draft coverage, media exposure and Youtube, no player should go undiscovered. This is especially true with FBS players and schools. I can understand a small-school player getting bypassed because there will always be competition questions. Can they adjust and take that step into the NFL? Because of these questions, players like Austin and Cruz go undrafted. Using the list above, let's remove all the players that didn't come from FBS schools.

Players Removed: Victor Cruz (UMass), Donald Jones (Youngstown), Eric Weems (Bethune Cookman), Miles Austin (Monmouth), Nate Washington (Tiffin)

After removing those players from the discussion, there's a big trend with most of these remaining players. Guys like Welker, Bess and Lance Moore are career slot receivers. They do most of their damage with their intelligence, vision, toughness and hands. Those are attributes that are hard to measure during the scouting process. Most of these players aren't fast or big, but they make perfect slot receivers. Easier to miss these types of players. Let's now remove the receivers that primarily play the slot position.

Players Removed: Doug Baldwin (Stanford), David Nelson (Florida), Blair White (Mich State), Quan Cosby (Texas), Danny Amendola (Texas Tech), Davone Bess (Hawaii), Greg Camarillo (Stanford), Lance Moore (Toledo), Wes Welker (Texas Tech)

By removing the players from the original list, we are left with a few intriguing players who are comparable to Armon Binns. Most of these players are missing a key component to be the go-to WR but have been complementary pieces at some point in their careers. Most are similar in size and speed to Binns and may be able to give us a look at what we can expect from one of the Bengals receivers battling to relieve pressure from A.J. Green and Andy Dalton on this offense.

Undrafted Receivers Most Comparable to Armon Binns Since 2000

Danario Alexander (Rams): 6'5" 215 lbs.
Missouri - Sr. Stats: 113 receptions, 1,781 yards, 14 TDs
Best NFL Season: (2011) 26 receptions, 431 yards, 2 TDs
Average NFL Game: 2.6 receptions, 40.9 yards, 0.2 TD

Kevin Ogletree (Cowboys): 6'1" 196 lbs.
Virginia - Jr. Stats: 58 receptions, 723 yards, 5 TDs
Best NFL Season: (2011) 15 receptions, 164 yards, 0 TD
Average NFL Game: 0.8 receptions, 9.5 yards, 0 TD

Hank Baskett (Vikings/Chargers/Eagles/Colts): 6'3" 216 lbs.
New Mexico - Sr. Stats: 67 receptions, 1,071 yards, 9 TDs
Best NFL Season: (2008) 33 receptions, 440 yards, 3 TDs
Average NFL Game: 1.2 receptions, 16.9 yards, 0.1 TDs

Malcom Floyd (Chargers): 6'5" 225 lbs.
Wyoming - Sr. Stats: 63 receptions, 834 yards, 6 TDs
Best NFL Season: (2011) 43 receptions, 856 yards, 5 TDs
Average NFL Game: 2.4 receptions, 42.8 yards, 0.3 TDs

Greg Lewis (Eagles): 6'0" 185 lbs.
Illinois - Sr. Stats: 37 receptions, 528 yards, 4 TDs
Best NFL Season: (2005) 48 receptions, 561 yards, 1 TD
Average NFL Game: 1.3 receptions, 17.1 yards, 0.1 TDs

Armon Binns (Jaguars/Bengals): 6'3" 210 lbs.
Cincinnati - Sr. stats: 75 receptions, 1,101 yards, 10 TDs

Of these remaining five comparable players, Alexander, Basket and Floyd seem to be the most similar in their college production and size/speed ratio to Binns. The undrafted receiver list isn't as impressive when you eliminate the players I did and maybe Binns can become one of those rare play-making, starting quality undrafted receivers but the chances are he ends up between one of these three comparable NFL receivers. If Binns can catch 25-35 balls for 350-450 yards and score 2-4 TDs in 2012 (and beyond), the Bengals offense will be that much better. With Binns, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu rotating opposite Green, the Bengals offense doesn't need another receiver to catch 70-balls. If Binns outright wins the number two job, I wouldn't expect him to turn into Wes Welker, Miles Austin or Victor Cruz. Recent history shows that undrafted FBS receivers who aren't primarily slot guys don't become star receivers. Again, similarities don't always mean same results; especially in football.