The Cincinnati Bengals only won six games in the first two years under head coach Zac Taylor. That has changed to multiple AFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl berth since the 2021 season.
It’s not the only reason why of course, but a huge factor that has played into how good the Bengals have been lately is how they’ve put the requisite weapons around quarterback Joe Burrow in the passing game.
They’ve been so good as it that Pro Football Focus recently deemed the Bengals to have the best receiver group in the NFL after what transpired in free agency and the NFL Draft. The Bengals rostered two of PFF’s 24 highest-graded wide receivers in Ja’Marr Chase (83.9, 12th) and Tee Higgins (78.4, tied 24th) in 2022.
With both also ranking inside the top 11 the previous year. Then there is Tyler Boyd, who ranked fifth in the NFL with 688 yards from the slot and dropped just one of his 51 catchable targets when lined up inside.
Rookies Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas join Trenton Irwin in reserve, making for arguably the best group in the NFL. Higgins was taken in the second round in 2020.
All he’s done is put up back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns after 908 yards as a rookie, making him one of the better No.2 options league-wide. A year later, the Bengals drafted Chase in the first round which has led to multiple Pro Bowl nods and a second-team All-Pro honor as a rookie. When playing his best, Chase is a top-five receiver.
Charlie Jones, the Bengals’ fourth-round pick a few weeks ago, gives the Bengals 4.43 speed and athleticism in the slot, and he could be a replacement for Boyd if he leaves in free agency next offseason.
Speaking of Boyd, he’s had to adjust to being the third option after Higgins and Chase came into the building, but he’s averaged over 800 yards for the last three seasons. Long story short, the Bengals have turned into a factory for producing productive receivers in the NFL.