Many believed that the Cincinnati Bengals needed one more playmaker in order to get over the hump that’s plagued them for two years now. Getting knocked out of the first round of the playoffs, by the same team no less, is something the team is determined to change.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has himself a Pro Bowl wide receiver in A.J. Green but beyond that the receiving corps was pretty mediocre before the draft. The Bengals selected former Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert with their first round pick at number 21 overall, getting what the majority view as a steal compared to his being projected a top-10 or 15 pick in many mocks.
Eifert’s skill set will help the offense tremendously. He possesses great hands that enable him to go up in traffic and bring down a tough catch. Eifert runs his routes in excellent fashion and has solid footwork. He’s almost more of a wide receiver in some respect, which is why his versatility will allow the Bengals’ offense a brand new dimension to be opened up.
Going into training camp, Eifert will be a guy to watch from the get-go, but not just because we’ll want to see how he gels with the offense. He’ll grasp the playbook and find his place in the offense pretty quickly. He was one of the more NFL-ready guys coming into this draft.
Where his opportunity to improve most lies on the line. His skinnier frame makes it tough for him to hold is own and be a force in pass protection or run blocking. At times he can be pushed off the line easily and he will definitely to make the weight room a priority. His footwork and technique will have to be flawless in order to succeed against defensive lineman in the NFL.
His lack of size and strength will definitely be forgiven, though, with how many different places he can line up. The Bengals will use him in a variety of ways and he should find his spot real quickly within the rhythm of the offense. During camp it will be a blast to watch his professional game develop and to see him become the player we all expect him to be.