Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins took the NFL by storm last season. In his first game he had eight-receptions for 86 yards. The 5’7” speedster went on to have 51 catches for 533 yards and four touchdowns.
Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden needs to give the pint-sized receiver more looks. He is a playmaker that could become the number-two target in an inconsistent Cincinnati Bengals offense. The Bengals, who have scored just 23 points total in two-playoff games the past two-seasons, need someone to take the load off of wide receiver A.J. Green.
The offense relies a lot on Green to make plays. Hawkins showed his explosiveness early in the year, and the Bengals should get the ball to him anyway they can.
He could line up in the backfield, the slot wide receiver position or even outside opposite Green. Hawkins should get more touches because he has the potential to be a premier slot receiver in the NFL.
Hawkins has only carried the ball eleven times during his two-year tenure with the Bengals. He brings a rare blend of speed, quickness and agility which make him nearly impossible to defend one-on-one.
It is Gruden’s job to get him more touches. Hawkins has the potential, but he needs to be put in a position to succeed.
Many people have said the Bengals should look at West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin in this years’ NFL Draft. If the Bengals did select Austin, would Gruden utilize him properly? Austin is also a smaller player with incredible agility.
Gruden should use this offseason to come up with a set of plays that will get Hawkins one-on-one so he can show the world his full potential.