After listing the top five overall “Prime” Bengals’ running backs, it’s time for the tight end group. “Prime” is my formula that gauges the players the Bengals will have on their draft board. Prime will be available for purchase soon on this website. Geoff Hobson’s latest mock has the Bengals taking Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. Below I will list the top five tight ends of the 2017 draft class as of today that should draw the most interest from the Bengals according to Prime.
Top 5 Bengals Prime TE Prospects
I. O.J. Howard, Alabama | Prime: 5.22
Projected Round: 1st
The Bengals have selected two tight ends in the first-round during the Lewis era. Howard is a size and skill fit for the Bengals’ scheme. With a clean medical record, O.J. would be a good sidekick and great insurance for Tyler Eifert.
II. Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas | Prime: 5.11
Projected Round: 5th
Sprinkle is a dual-threat SEC product and a reliable target as a “Y” tight end. He is ranked 8th overall by NFL.com and is also projected to be a backup with potential to become a starter. He is considered by most experts to be a safe pick and would be a solid late round option for the Bengals.
III. Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech | Prime: 4.56
Projected Round: 3rd
At 6’6 257 pounds, Hodges possesses a rare combination of size and athleticism. Although he has the tools to become an elite mismatch, he still needs to refine his blocking and route running skills in the NFL. During his Pro Day, the Bengals’ staff put Hodges through blocking drills.
Bucky Hodges said coaches for Bengals & Jets worked him out in blocking drills today. Has meetings set up with the Browns & Saints. #Hokies
— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) March 15, 2017
IV. George Kittle, Iowa | Prime: 4.38
Projected Round: 4th-5th
The fact that Kittle played in a pro-style offense in college, makes him a prime candidate for the Bengals on draft day. Kittle is somewhat of an H-Back and is smaller than the typical Bengals’ tight end prospect. Kittle possesses the dual-threat skills to become a solid compliment in the NFL.
V. Jordan Leggett, Clemson | Prime: 4.22
Projected Round: 3rd-4th
Leggett’s consistent production at Clemson is sure to catch the Bengals’ eye. Outside of Bucky Hodges, Leggett outperformed every tight end listed on the Prime top five. Tony Pauline reported that the Bengals spent a “significant amount of time” with Leggett at Clemson’s Pro Day.