The Bengals love versatility, but it's not often you see the team using offensive tackles as pass-catching threats.
During OTAs, rookie Jake Fisher has not only caught a few passes, but the Bengals are actually calling his number on pass plays in which he's lined up as an eligible tackle. It shouldn't be much of a surprise; Fisher has the hands and athleticism to run like a tight end since he played the position for Traverse City West High School, before Oregon made him an All-Conference tackle.
That said, Cincinnati didn't draft Fisher with hopes he could be their tight end. They took him in hops he could be one of their two offensive tackles in the long term. But, with Andre Smith and Andrew Whitworth in Cincinnati for at least the 2015 season, Fisher needs to find another way to get on the field and get involved with the Bengals' offense.
Could this be it? Using Fisher in tackle-eligible sets could make him a pass-catching option in heavy and goal-line formations. Think Andrew Whitworth vs. Pittsburgh in 2010:
"He did a good job," Whitworth said of Fisher's effort in the passing game. "He's a guy that's got a lot of ability. He's just got to continue to focus in and learn and adapt to the game. He's going to be a guy that's got a skill set that you can use. He could be that big tight end for us. It's definitely a weapon."
Fisher never caught a pass in college, but did score a touchdown vs. Tennessee State after sprinting downfield to pick up a De’Anthony Thomas fumble in the end zone on a play that began at the 50-yard line.
It's clear Fisher has a level of athleticism not often see from offensive lineman. The Bengals appear to be trying to utilize it in an unconventional way that could lead to Fisher being more important to the offense as a rookie than just using him as a situational blocker.