1. Chad Johnson
2. Laveranues Coles
3. Chris Henry
4. Andre Caldwell
5. Jerome Simpson
6. Antonio Chatman
7. Mario Urrutia
8. Maurice Purify
9. Freddie Brown
10. Quan Cosby
Key losses: T.J. Housmanzadeh
Key additions: Laveranues Coles
The Bengals lost last season's number one receiver in TJ Housmanzadeh in free agency to the Seattle Seahawks. TJ was Mr. automatic in receptions with his ability to get into seams in the middle of the field. With the addition of Coles, the Bengals may have found a viable replacement for Housh. The 32 year old Coles has spent the last four seasons with the New York Jets. Last year Coles had 70 receptions for 850 yards and 7 TD's. In comparison last season Housh had 90 Recs, 904 yards, and 4 TD's.
Meanwhile Chad Johnson is coming off of his least productive season since his rookie year in 2001. Chad only managed 53 recs, 540 yards, and 4 TD's by far his lowest stat totals since '01. Chad was slowed a little by injury last year but still managed to start in 10 games for the men in stripes. We are all hoping that Chad has not lost his step and can pick his game up this year.
The number 3 receiver and below is where this get interesting. Talent wise, Chris Henry is definitely your #3, but the question remains can he stay out of trouble for long enough to put in a full season. Andre Caldwell proved last season that he can be a solid option for kick returns averaging 26 yards per return. But Caldwell has yet to show us his ability to run solid routes and be a strong option at the WR position.
Jerome Simpson has not progressed at all since his signing as a rookie which concerns me. Simpson will need a very strong preseason if he hopes to find the field with any regularity this year. Antonio Chatman has also showed value as a kick and punt returner but has not been very strong at WR.
The questions remain on whether or not Mario Urrutia can make it at this level. Urrutia was a major talent at Louisville and has the size to be an NFL receiver. I have heard that he will get the opportunity to become a part of the offense at training camp. I would also think that it would be unlikely that Cosby, Purify, and Brown can make it to this level just yet. Look for them to round out the practice squad or take a position on another team.