Bengals Predicted to Land Big Play Creator at WR

Bengals called perfect fit for Michigan WR Roman Wilson in NFL draft.

Getty The Cincinnati Bengals were called a perfect fit for Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson in the NFL draft.

With Tee Higgins potentially leaving in 2025 — assuming he’s not traded before then — the Cincinnati Bengals are expected to draft a new wide receiver in a couple of weeks.

Having said that, it’s a deep class, so the Bengals may not select a rookie wideout at No. 18 overall. The Athletic’s Cincy beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. expects that pick to come in round two, and he had a “prediction” for the new Bengals pass-catcher during a comprehensive breakdown of the draft class at this position on April 11.

“Take what the draft gives you,” Dehner advised. “And this draft will give the Bengals fantastic receiving options with the 49th pick. That’s my best bet for a receiver landing spot and Michigan’s Roman Wilson would make perfect sense to be around at that point.”

He added that it would be “stunning if Cincinnati didn’t take a receiver before the fourth round,” considering the blend of need and talent at WR.

Michigan WR Roman Wilson Outlined as 1 of 3 ‘Bengals’ Best Fits’ in 2024 NFL Draft

Earlier in the article, Dehner described several members of the 2024 wide receiver class and examined each as a “fit” for the Bengals. In the end, he determined that three prospects seemed to embody the traits that he believes Cincinnati will be looking for on draft weekend.

Wilson was one of those three.

“Watching Wilson work off-script with J.J. McCarthy for the Wolverines, it was hard not to think about how [Joe] Burrow creates so many big plays and touchdowns in exactly that manner,” Dehner scouted.

“Wilson has an incredible knack for working to the open spots, creating space and making the catches,” the reporter continued. “He’s built smaller at 5-11, 187, in the mold of Jayden Reed who broke out for the [Green Bay] Packers last year, but he showed off his hands and route running at the Senior Bowl, dominating the week.”

“[Wilson is] more of a pure slot,” Dehner concluded, “but it’s easy to see a connection with Burrow.”

With Tyler Boyd still unsigned in NFL free agency, you’ll notice that the Bengals beat writer estimates that Cincinnati will replace the veteran slot specialist in the draft.

Ladd McConkey & Ricky Pearsall Round Out Bengals’ Top Draft Fits at WR

Based on the hypothesis of targeting a slot expert that pairs well with Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase in 2024, it should come as no surprise that Georgia’s Ladd McConkey and Florida’s Ricky Pearsall were the other two “best fits” that Dehner decided on.

The reporter first acknowledged that McConkey would likely cost a first rounder, or some sort of trade back scenario from No. 18.

“The odds of [McConkey] falling to 49 are slim, but his style represents a dream fit with Burrow,” Dehner detailed. “He’s versatile and will play mostly slot but does so much more. [McConkey is] fast, a separation beast and brings fun yards after catch.”

“His size (6-0, 186) and injury history bring some concern,” he admitted, “but when healthy he’d terrorize defenses between Chase and Higgins with WR2 potential once Higgins is gone.”

Then there’s Pearsall, option three according to Dehner.

“Another example of a supercharged slot receiver who can do much more than just win underneath,” he voiced, regarding the Florida Gator. “He brings elite athleticism and separation, plus it would be a major check of the explosiveness box with his ability to stretch the seam and make plays down the field.”