As of now, two of the Bengals’ starters at wide receiver will be free agents after the 2020 season. The addition of a high-end talent to the receivers room seemed like a given, especially given the likelihood of the Bengals having a first-round grade on a receiver available in the second round in this talented class.
That’s pretty much how Tee Higgins became a Bengal.
While there are some questions about his athleticism, Higgins has great ball skills and more technical nuances than you’d think for a guy his size. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five cool facts about the Bengals latest second-round pick.
1. He tied Clemson’s touchdown record
Clemson has had a lot of great receivers come through there, but Higgins scored as many touchdowns as DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins did in their time with the Tigers. He did that in only three years at Clemson; being very productive as a young player. While touchdown production isn’t everything, it is impressive to be in the company of Hopkins and Watkins in that regard.
2. His basketball skills come through in football
Higgins was also a top high school basketball player, Plenty of NFL players were multi-sport athletes growing up, but Higgins could’ve easily chosen the hardwood over the gridiron, like his new quarterback Joe Burrow almost did.
Higgins was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in Tennessee, but his decision to stick to football clearly worked out for him.
3. Higgins models his game after A.J. Green, and was a Bengals fan
He has said on multiple occasions that his favorite player is A.J. Green and he started to be a fan of the Bengals after they drafted him. While Higgins isn’t as much of an athletic specimen as the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, his ability to play the ball and control his body in the air is very reminiscent of Green. Hopefully Green can teach him a few more of his tricks while they are playing together.
4. Higgins was highly rated coming out of high school
Higgins was the No. 2 wide receiver in the entire 2017 recruiting class and the 15th ranked player in the nation. While he wasn’t that productive as a freshman, he had a big jump as a sophomore and had a very successful junior campaign as well, both with Trevor Lawrence as his quarterback. He was injured in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff and his absence clearly affected Lawrence. He will have time to grow in Cincinnati, and hopefully won’t need to play much as a rookie.
5. He was on the 2018 National Championship team
With their first two picks the Bengals selected players that won the last two National Championships. Not only players that were on the right team, but players that played key roles in those titles. As a 19-year old, Higgins was a key weapon for Lawrence on the way to their victory over Alabama and Tua Tagovailoa. A year later, Burrow beat Clemson and Higgins in a game where Higgins had a monstrous 36-yard touchdown run on an end-around.