The 2013 Bengals draft class was widely regarded as one of the best hauls any NFL team had last year. It didn't exactly look like that on the field.
Yes, Giovani Bernard was one of the most electrifying players in the league, but his fellow draftees didn't live up to expectations, particularly tight end Tyler Eifert.
Eifert, the 21st overall pick started 15 games for the Bengals as a second tight end along side fellow TE Jermaine Gresham while catching 39 passes for 445 yards and two TDs.
New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson admits it wasn't the kind of year Eifert hoped it would be, but still believes he's got a great duo at TE:
"Tyler Eifert got his feet wet last year and knowing him, he was probably a little disappointed because he wanted more and expected more from himself," said Jackson. "We’ll give him a chance to do more. We have two of the better tight ends in the league, along with Jermaine Gresham, and we want them to play like that."
Jackson also praised sixth-round receiver Cobi Hamilton and how he improved significantly as the year went on while on the practice squad:
"Cobi Hamilton made spectacular plays in practice and I watched him improve every week," said Jackson. "We have a very talented wide receiver group but I don’t think you can ever have too much talent. It’s going to be fun to see where he fits with the A.J. Green’s, and the Marvin Jones’s, and the Mo Sanu’s and the rest of the group that we have there, because he’s a big physical player."
With Andrew Hawkins Jackson now in Cleveland, Hamilton is the early favorite to take his vacant roster spot. Jackson sounds thrilled to get to work with last year's rookie class in what will be their first full NFL offseason.