Originally written on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 11/16/14
There were two moves in the draft that very few of us saw coming: the selection of Brandon Thompson in round 3 and the selection of Orson Charles two picks later in round 4. Neither was a pick based on need, but both were great value picks who deepen strengths of the team.

I like the selection of Charles. The scouting report on him is really good, and his presence automatically creates a roster battle.

Tight Ends Starter On The Roster Camp Battle Long Shot Jermaine Gresham Orson Charles Donald Lee
Colin Cochart Josh Chichester

I have a suspicion that Jay Gruden was a little bit excited to see Charles still on the board as pick #116 approached and may have done a little lobbying for the big tight end out of Georgia. The TE roster looked adequate with Gresham, Lee and Cochart already in the fold, but the Bengals chose to add another dynamic to the group and add to the offense the increasingly popular threat of the two tight end set.

Starter: A.J. Green

Gresham is the most physically gifted TE on the roster. Last year he was 13th in catches (56) and 18th in total yds (596). But he has not yet reached his full potential. In the 14 games he played last year, 5 times he was held under 25 yds receiving. Only three times in 29 career games has he caught more than 5 balls in a game. A couple more catches per game could move him into being a Vernon Davis / Brent Celek / Dustin Keller type of serious threat all over the field.

I was surprised and pleased to see that last year Gresham was the most productive when facing AFC North opponents. Over have of his receiving total (306) came in 6 AFCN games. Using him just as well outside the division will garner him and the team plenty of attention.

Primary Backup: Orson Charles

Coaches have to clean up some of Charles’ technique during the offseason: route running, exploding into defenders, and catching with soft hands. As the season progresses and these issues clear up, look for Charles to get more and more time on the field with Gresham. His presence on the field along with Gresham, Green and Shipley will give the Bengals an Aaron Hernandez-type of threat that will give defenses fits.

Camp Battler: Donald Lee

More of a blocker than a receiver, Lee was the primary backup to Gresham last year. Going into his 10th season, we could argue that he bring a wealth of experience to help coaches groom Charles and Gresham. Or we could argue that his age is a liability because the Bengals will prefer the younger, cheaper option.

Camp Battler: Colin Cochart

Despite going undrafted out of tiny South Dakota State, Cochart impressed the coaches enough to make the roster when third rounder Chase Coffman couldn’t. He is a big, tough, hard-working, very likable guy. He made it onto the field in 10 games last year, but he only caught five balls for 44 yds.

Long Shot: Josh Chichester

Chichester is tall and has long arms, two traits the Bengals love. But he struggles as a blocker and is incomplete as a receiver. Worst of all, he reportedly needs a coach to keep his pilot light lit. That is not a recipe for beating out Lee or Cochart. I simply cannot see him beating out either one, let alone both.

The choice between Lee and Cochart will not be an easy one for coaches. They are similar size, both good blockers and OK receivers. Will they prefer youth or experience? Smarts or fight? They both have a year in Gruden’s system, so whomever catches on first and shows the most understanding on the field will be the guy who wins this fight.

If the coaches can settle on the right answer for the #2 WR, the potential for the passing game is going to take a significant step forward. Having four receiving options on the field will be the norm, and, depending on the RB or TE package, five options will not be uncommon. It will be fun to watch Gruden at times flood the field with receivers and dare the defense to cover them all. The TE’s will be an integral part of the passing attack.

And the better that the passing attack is, the more potent the running game will be.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Wrigley Field renovation causing massive rat problem

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'

Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

Thomas upset he was tested for PEDs over health statement

Marshawn’s press conference to end all press conferences

NFL to assist Seahawks in ID'ing Pats' ineligible receiver sets

Devon and Leah Still write a book for kids fighting cancer

Five potential heroes of Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

Super Bowl XLIX should smash TV viewership record yet again

NFL, officials, Carroll disagree on ineligible player rules

Seattle business rolling 12,000 joints for Super Bowl

How Yardbarker got Marshawn Lynch to open up back in 2008

Super Bowl records that won't fall anytime soon

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting baby any day

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five potential Super Bowl XLIX heroes

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.