With rookie minicamp just getting underway, now is a great time to take a step back and examine exactly how Eifert and Bernard may perform statistically next season with the Bengals.
Cincinnati shocked most of the Bengals faithful by going tight end in the first round despite already having a Pro Bowl tight end on the roster in Jermaine Gresham.
Fans will likely end up happy with the pick because Eifert allows the Bengals to add yet another wrinkle to an already dynamic offense.
Standing at 6'6" and 250 pounds, Eifert has an outstanding catch radius that allows him to reel in any passes thrown his way. His specific set of skills means he will be on the field at the same time as Gresham. What's interesting is this means he could line up with his hand in the dirt or split out as a wide receiver.
As Bengals fans are sure to remember, last year in the postseason against the Houston Texans the gameplan was to get the ball to Gresham because the defense was so focused on receiver A.J. Green. That plan failed miserably as Gresham struggled and the Bengals lost for the second year in a row.
In Eifert, quarterback Andy Dalton now has another reliable pair of hands to go to if Green is blanketed in coverage. He will especially be a factor near the endzone thanks to his versatility. Expect big things from Eifert next season.
Projected 2013 stats: 50 receptions, 600 yards, six touchdowns.
It was no secret the Bengals entered the draft looking to upgrade the running back position. BenJarvus Green-Ellis got the job done in short-yardage situations last season, but the offense lacked a big-play threat in the backfield.
Bernard is that big-play threat. Not only is he dynamic on the ground, Bernard has the hands of a wide receiver, which is great news given the West Coast offense employed by offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
Expect Bernard to see a lot of work in his rookie season. He's an effective third-down back thanks to his versatility, although Green-Ellis may steal some touchdowns from him because of his prowess in short-yardage situations.
All in all, Bernard was exactly what the Bengals needed at the position. Dalton needed a security blanket to throw to and Green needed a threat in the backfield so he saw less coverage. Bernard's addition takes care of both needs.
Projected 2013 Stats: 225 carries, 750 yards, four touchdowns. 55 receptions, 450 yards, five touchdowns.
Cobi Hamilton and Rex Burkehead
Lost in the luster of the selections of Eifert and Bernard is the fact the Bengals took two other offensive skill-position players later in the draft in Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead and Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton.
For Hamilton, his impact may be minimal in his first year with the team. The depth chart is already clustered with talent such as Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, not to mention guys fighting for roster spots such as Brandon Tate and Ryan Whalen. It's a long climb to the top for Hamilton, who may end up on the practice squad for his rookie year.
It's a different story entirely for Burkhead, who is likely to make the final roster. It's not that running back is any less of a competitive position in Cincinnati than wide receiver, it's the fact the team lost Brian Leonard and Burkhead has the exact same skill set. Thanks to this, Burkhead will likely make the roster as an insurance option and special-teams contributor, but projecting statistics for him at this point wouldn't make sense.
Chris Roling is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. His work has appeared on Bleacher Report, Fansided, The Cincinnati Enquirer and more.
You can follow Chris on Twitter @Chris_Roling
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- Jermaine Gresham