Time to Challenge Jermaine Greshman at Cincinnati Bengals Tight End Spot

By Thomas Emerick
Jermaine Gresham drops a pass
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One of the last images that Cincinnati Bengals fans have burned into their psyche from 2013 is the sight of Houston Texans safety Glover Quin swallowing Jermaine Gresham whole in the Wild Card loss. Much of the public ire was turned to Andy Dalton in the aftermath of this anemic offensive performance — which is also deserved — but Gresham’s ability to exploit a soft middle of a beat-up Texans defense was viewed as a major Cincy X-factor.

Cincinnati also seemed to recognize this matchup in targeting Gresham early and often, but alas, he managed reeling in just two of seven passes in the contest, two of which were absolutely brutal drops. Quin is a good safety when it comes to covering receivers, but he’s by no means a shutdown guy.

Now the Bengals enter another offseason reflecting on whether the 6-5, 260-pound tight end is the man who flashes the look of a matchup nightmare, or is the man that doesn’t provide enough consistency on the receiving end to justify poor blocking. Pro Football Focus ranked Gresham as the NFL‘s worst tight end out of the 62 who received at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps in 2012.

The 21st overall selection in 2010 could very well see competition for playing time from this year’s stacked draft class at the tight end position. There are myriad highly-regarded options projected for the early rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft in Notre Dame‘s Tyler Eifert, Stanford‘s Zach ErtzFlorida‘s Jordan Reed and San Diego State‘s Gavin Escobar to name just a few.

And if adding a quality tight end happens to boost Gresham’s play to his potential, then boasting a nice two-tight end set certainly isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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