Can NCAA frontman Charlie Jones make the offense more deadly?

As stacked, the wide reception room has become for the nation “Who Dey” over the past two seasons, even the Cincinnati Bengals will look to add progress to it when needed. They did just that by adding the NCAA’s best wide receiver in Charlie Jones.

The former Purdue Boilermaker does more than just add soft hands to a spot that doesn’t lack that appendage strength. He has the potential to open up the fifth-best pass in the league even more.

New Bengals WR Charlie Jones is ‘a combination of things’

Count Troy Walters – a former NFL player – of the Bengals staff is confident the 5’11”, 175-pounder can add a multitude of layers to this already potent offense.

“[He’s] a combination of a lot of things,” Walters told Cincinnati media after the draft. “He has great ball skills. Whenever he’s in a contested 50/50 capture situation, he seems to get away with it. And so really everybody on our roster, all the receivers that we have, have great ball skills, and so he adds to that as a guy that no matter where you throw the ball, he’s going to make the play. »

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Walters then verbally illustrated how Jones is before capture.

“He is a technical runner. If it’s 15 yards, he’s going to run 15. If it’s 12 yards, he’s going to get 12. He knows how to manipulate coverage to beat defenders at the top of his runs,” Walters said. “He just knows how to open up. He’s a football player, and that’s what we need.

Eight-year veteran Walters even gave Jones this league comparison: himself.

“Very similar to when I was in Indianapolis with Peyton Manning. With Joe (Burrow), he wants you to be in the right place at the right time, and that’s what Charlie does,” Walters continued.

How can Jones open up Cincinnati’s offense even further?

Already, Cincinnati has two of the toughest receivers to cover in 1,000-yard threats Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Then there’s Tyler Boyd, a turn-of-the-century passer himself who still averaged over 13 yards per catch on that offense last season.

Still, Cincy is clearly operating with the belief that they can always add more to this piece. But the reasoning behind Jones’ pick indicates to ignite the slot position.

While Trenton Irwin scored four touchdowns there, he was still limited to 15 catches in nine games of action. Irwin’s spot now faces the looming threat of WR Jones at 110 strikes. Then there’s Boyd’s situation, as the Bengals’ top slot option is entering a contract year and will become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

Jones has the quick footing to quickly release the line after the snap. But from there, he’s good at combining a flurry and keeping his hips low to get out of his breaks. Apart from his hands, his eyes are another strong aspect as he knows how to lock onto the football despite the incoming traffic from defenders.

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He’s not one to let the ball touch his chest, as he chooses to stretch his arms out and let it touch his palms and fingers first. He did takes where he had to stretch his arms to fall with it. But he also gets transported on receptions when he exposes himself to being hit in the back or upper body… and always gains focus and fearlessness. One of his best performances was against Penn State, which shows the items he can bring to Cincy.

His biggest key, however, will be staying healthy, as there was a period when he only played 12 games from 2018 to 2020 (although he was on the pitch for 26 games during that time). his last two years of university).

He will also have to prove that his national production of 22 was not a mirage and that he can pass those elements on to the “Who Dey” nation. While looking quick after his outing, Jones was caught from behind even with his 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash.

Cincinnati is definitely adding someone with the potential to add more fearlessness and focus to a WR room where they can accommodate a fourth downline threat. But Jones has the chance to turn the slot machine’s place into a force alongside Chase and Higgins, especially with Boyd facing the closure of his Cincy run in 2023.

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