The Cincinnati Bengals don’t have much to brag about as they move into the 2019 season. However, their wide receiving core is one of them.
Led by A.J. Green, a receiver that went to the Pro Bowl his first seven seasons in the league, the Bengals’ receiving unit was ranked No. 10 by Pro Football Focus. This unit include fourth-year receiver Tyler Boyd and third-year speedster John Ross.
As for the ranking, it’s not shocking. While those in Cincinnati will believe they’re still disrespected, given Green’s injury history, it seems like a fair place for the unit. When mentioning the group, PFF notes Green’s injury history as well as Boyd’s high ceiling.
“Cincinnati’s receiving corps falls down this list if Green is sidelined long term, but if healthy, he and Tyler Boyd form one of the NFL’s top receiver tandems entering the 2109 season. Green has earned 80.0-plus overall grades in every year but his rookie campaign (2011), and Boyd is coming off a breakout 2018 campaign that an 84.5 overall grade across 773 offensive snaps.”
The Cincinnati Bengals, regardless of Green’s status, will need John Ross to step up this season. While his presence will be magnified without Green, Ross must finally find his groove within the team’s new offense.
Last season, Ross secured five catches in games 10-13 prior to being shut down. That said, he must be better. He must be more involved, and while that will start with Zac Taylor and the offensive setup, it’ll be up to Ross to capitalize like he’s yet to.
As for Tyler Boyd, we know what he can do. He was the one to capitalize on Green’s absence last season, totaling his first 1,000-yard season. With Green hopefully back in the lineup for Week 1, Boyd’s development could prove vital as team’s will look to heavily deny Green.
Players like Cody Core, Josh Malone, and Alex Erickson will also all get a chance to shine with or without Green. They may ultimately help make or break this season for Cincinnati.
Overall, 10th is a good spot for the typically injury-ridden unit.