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Cincinnati Bengals March Scouting Report
Mark Huber

With the writing on the wall for really all of last season, as we suspected the Bengals have moved on from RB Joe Mixon.

Cincinnati traded Mixon to the Houston Texans for a late draft pick.

The Bengals have signed RB Zack Moss to pair of RB Chase Brown at the top of the Bengals running back depth chart.

There are many who are lauding the Texans acquisition both those of use who watched Mixon saw a slow, plodding runner last season.

Now, if Mixon sheds a few pounds and works on his quickness, he can be a good runner still. From a fantasy purpose, Mixon should get plenty of volume to be good as a RB2.

As for Moss, he gives a burst that Mixon didn’t provide last season and that with Brown should make this a much more dynamic backfield from an NFL standpoint.

From a fantasy football standpoint I have my suspicions. The Moss Brown combination could be a true timeshare and neither would be much more than a running back 3 or flex option.

Given the amount of money Moss and Brown are getting, it would not be totally out of the question to draft a back thus muddying the waters more. We shall see.

The Bengals also signed to a one year deal TE Mike Gesicki and signed TE Drew Sample to a three year deal.

Gesicki is the most likely candidate to take the WR Tyler Boyd role as slot receiver. IF that plays out, Gesicki would be a valuable fantasy option given his tight end listing. He has not quite lived up to his fantasy status but maybe this is it. On the flip side, the Bengals with QB Joe Burrow at the helm have not done much with tight ends but if Gesicki is a larger, glorified slot receiver, he could flourish. He is worth a shot.

WR Tee Higgins is being linked to a trade request, noting he is unhappy with the franchise tag. That is agent talk. Higgins prior to being tagged said he was okay with the tag but now his agent is trying to get an extension or a trade for his client.

There is nothing wrong with any of that except the Bengals, particularly owner Mike Brown, are not ones to cave easily or quickly on those types of requests.

Burrow wants Higgins. The coaches want Higgins. Higgins wants to stay but he also has an agent trying to do his job and get the most money for his client.

Could the Bengals trade Higgins? Sure, but unlikely. They would want to first. Unlikely to get that given the receiver depth in this class.

Would the Panthers first pick of the second round be enough? That is a start. Keep an eye on the time between Round 1 and Round 2. If there is someone on the board the Bengals covet, a deal for Higgins could be made overnight. The Panthers will have to overpay because the Bengals feel Higgins gives them a shot at the Super Bowl.

The rest of the comings and goings are DB Geno Stone as a top notch safety from Baltimore, OG Cody Ford as offensive line depth and LB Akeem Davis Gaither as special teams standout.

Gone is DB Chidobe Awuzie to Tennessee.

There are holes still to be filled at tackle on offense and tackle on defense. There are free agents that can fill those voids like former Bengal DL D.J. Reader or former Cowboy OT Tyron Smith, possibly DT Arik Armstead.

Also looming over the Bengals is the X/Twitter conversations about WR Justin Jefferson being in Cincinnati and being a trade candidate.

There are ways you can justify this happening from both sides if you are looking strictly through a fantasy football lens.

The chatter coming from the Vikings indicates Jefferson is not going to be traded, which as one analyst put it, makes him think Jefferson is on the block.

It would have to be a massive offer from the Bengals. Higgins and 18 and a 1 in 2025 is probably a starting point to the conversation.

I don’t know if any of this is true or not but it makes fun conversation if you are a Bengals or fantasy football fan.


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