The two-win Cincinnati Bengals entered the 2020 NFL Draft with high expectations and the No. 1 overall pick. While rumors spread as usual, there was no question that Joe Burrow was going to be the top overall pick.
Following Burrow, the Bengals had a chance to revive different parts of their roster, and with the first pick in the second round, the team got an absolute stud by the name of Tee Higgins.
From Clemson, Higgins was a first-round talent that was jumped by several other receivers. That said, in ESPN’s re-draft, the Bengals weren’t able to snag Higgins again but instead were gifted the Jaguars’ rookie receiver.
ESPN’s Ben Baby dove into what the re-draft would look like for the Bengals.
33. Cincinnati Bengals
Original pick: Tee Higgins, WR
New pick: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR
The Bengals were thrilled when Higgins was available at the top of the second round in 2020. But after his rookie year, there’s no way Higgins lasts that long in a redo. However, Shenault isn’t a bad option for a team that needs a receiver. His 3.7% catch rate above expectation ranked third among rookie receivers, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He also caught 50% of his targets in tight windows, which led all rookie wideouts. — Ben Baby
Thankfully, although Shenault Jr., had some good games, Higgins was among the best rookies receivers in the NFL.
While Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb led the pack for the rookies, Tee Higgins came in as the third most-used receiver, ending top 30 in receiving yards. Higgins also ended the season with six touchdowns.
Stepping into a bigger role in 2021 with A.J. Green likely ending his tenure in the Queen City, Higgins will become a top-two threat for the Bengals, if he wasn’t already.
That said, the duo of Burrow and Higgins had eerily similar feels to that of the team’s 2011 draft class when Andy Dalton and Green both came and electrified the city. This time, there’s hope that Burrow and Higgins can even more success than that dynamic tandem.