Cincinnati Bengals have options with No. 24 pick

By Dane Brugler, The Sports Xchange  |  March 10, 2016 at 8:32 PM
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In a perfect world, the top talent available when teams are on the clock in the first round will also match the top needs on the roster.

That scenario is rarely realistic, but that might be exactly how it works out for the Cincinnati Bengals, who own pick No. 24 in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft and are in the market for a new No. 2 receiver.

Boasting one of the deeper wide receiver groups last season, the Bengals ran a lot of "11" personnel to utilize the top three wide receivers on the depth chart: A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

While Green is locked up long term and is fully entrenched as the team's No. 1 pass-catcher, Jones and Sanu will be playing in Detroit and Atlanta, respectively, next season, cashing in on the first few days of free agency.

Jones and Sanu combined for 98 catches last season and Brandon Tate, who was recently re-signed, and second-year receiver Mario Alford won't be enough to fill that void.

This draft class has depth at wide receiver and so the Bengals might decide to wait until the middle rounds to address the position like they did in 2012, drafting Jones in the fifth round and Sanu in the third round. But the wide receiver talent available in the back half of round one presents intriguing value.

Assuming Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is off the board in the top-20 picks, here are three wide receiver options for the Bengals at No. 24 in the first round:

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (5-11, 194, 4.42)

Despite only average height and length, Coleman is deceptively powerful with explosive athleticism and strong balance to be a threat at every level of the field. He has the hand-eye coordination to stab the ball away from his body with an intense, aggressive-minded demeanor that has drawn comparisons to Steve Smith. His pro evaluation requires a leap of faith because of Baylor's offense, which asked him to run a limited route tree, but Coleman has the athletic traits and competitive temperament that suggest it is only a matter of time before he finds success in the NFL.

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (6-2, 202, 4.50)

Like Coleman, Doctson starred in a spread scheme that didn't ask him to run a full route tree, but he has above-average body control and ball skills on throws in his zip code. He has the innate ability to expand his catch radius, contort his body and find ways to finish catches, often bailing out his quarterback in the process. Doctson lacks polish in some areas, but his athleticism and resilient mentality projects him to a No. 2 role in the NFL.

Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame (6-0, 186, 4.32)

The most dangerous deep threat in this draft class, Fuller has the uncanny ability to create separation late in his routes, using an extra gear when the ball is in the air -- a burst that most cornerbacks can't match. His concentration issues and drops can be frustrating, but his strengths as a downfield playmaker will help teams look past his flaws as he can stretch the field and draw defenders away from other targets.

Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) is a Senior Analyst for, distributed in partnership with The Sports Xchange and

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