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Bengals Player Rankings: No. 5

The Burrow-to-Boyd connection is born!

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With the summer in full swing and NFL training camps less than two months away now, we gathered our Cincy Jungle staff to rank the top 25 Bengals of the 2020 season.

This ranking is simply who we believe are the 25 best Bengals heading into next season. It includes veterans and rookies alike, though it obviously is more favorable of players who’ve actually played snaps in the NFL, so don’t expect guys like Joe Burrow to be a top-five player right off the bat.

For a recap of the list, check out our stream here.

As we continue to count down the top Bengals of the 2020 season, it is only natural that we would find multiple wide receivers near the top of the list.

A healthy A.J. Green is one of the best receivers in the NFL and John Ross is the fastest player in the history of the NFL combine. Those two are true playmakers, but new quarterback Joe Burrow’s favorite target at LSU was slot receiver Justin Jefferson. In his second year playing with Burrow, Jefferson had an astounding 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

The Bengals happen have a stud slot receiver of their own; one that Jefferson could only dream of becoming one day.

No. 5: Tyler Boyd, wide receiver

Former Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton always had Green. The two came into the league together, with Green going in Round 1 and Dalton going in Round 2 of the 2011 NFL Draft. Their careers to this point were intertwined. In fact, there is a strong connection between Dalton’s struggles on the field and Green’s struggles to stay on the field in recent years.

In 2020 Burrow was drafted 1st overall and the Bengals selected wide receiver Tee Higgins in the 2nd Round. Although Higgins has a bright future in Cincinnati, the veteran Boyd looks like the likely favorite target for Burrow in the Bengals’ offense. Boyd was given an extension last year, so unlike Green and Ross (neither of which is currently under contract after the 2020 season) his future in Cincinnati is secured. He will be here as Burrow develops and this team looks to make a championship run.

Boyd has had over 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons and had a career-high 90 receptions last year. And that was with poor play at the quarterback position.

Enter Burrow.

Burrow loves throwing to the slot. He is super-accurate and not only can he make tight-window throws, he can place the ball where his receiver is in the best position to run after the catch.

Boyd is an excellent slot who runs great routes, particularly over the middle where Burrow is at his best.

It is a perfect marriage.

Burrow will be a rookie and developing a full understanding of the offense as well as rapport with his receivers will take time, but even in year one Burrow-to-Boyd will be a big-time connection.