HE IS BACK: Bengals key player that left to Arizona State sign back for one year contract due…

Dynamic Wide SEC Receiver Is Expected to Sign with the Bengals.
Dynamic SEC Wide Receiver Predicted to Land With Bengals - Heavy.com

he Cincinnati Bengals seem determined to build around star quarterback Joe Burrow, and that starts with finding more players for him to throw the ball to.

ESPN’s Matt Miller projects the Bengals to take Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall in the second round with the No. 49 overall pick in his latest seven-round mock draft published on March 27.

The NFL draft is April 25-27 in Detroit.

“To run the Bengals’ three-WR offense, you need three starting wide receivers,” Miller wrote. “That’s not the case right now, with Tee Higgins hanging out there on the franchise tag and Tyler Boyd still a free agent. Pearsall would give Cincinnati at least one more option opposite Ja’Marr Chase. He’s fast and has some of the best end-zone footwork and ball-tracking in the class.”

Pearsall’s Stock Continues to Rise Headed Toward NFL Draft

Pearsall spent the first three seasons of his college career at Arizona State, where he had 48 receptions for 580 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2021 before transferring to Florida.

In two seasons at Florida, Pearsall had 98 receptions for 1,626 yards and 12 total touchdowns.

he NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah ranked Pearsall as his No. 39 overall prospect and No. 7 wide receiver prospect on March 7 after he stood out in practices before the 2024 Senior Bowl but didn’t play in the game.

“Pearsall is a loose, smooth wideout with outstanding hands and toughness,” Jeremiah wrote. “He is quick and he understands how to change gears as a route runner. He is fluid getting into and out of breaks. He has outstanding hands and makes some circus catches … he should have a starting role from Day 1 for his drafting team.”

Recent Draft History May Give Pearsall Added BoostType of receiver Bengals should target for Joe Burrow

Pearsall turned in a solid performance at the NFL combine, where the Chandler, Arizona, native checked in at 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds, and had an incredible, 42-inch vertical leap.

Teaming with Burrow might seem like an even better fit when taking a look at who Pearsall caught passes from in college. His starting quarterback his first three seasons at Arizona State was 2023 Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, who transferred to LSU for his final two seasons. Daniels is projected by Miller to go to the Washington Commanders at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL draft.

Pearsall’s first year at Florida he was paired with Anthony Richardson, who was selected at No. 4 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 2023.

Teams could also be motivated to grab a standout wide receiver in later rounds this year after the Los Angeles Rams selected BYU’s Puka Nacua in the fifth round in 2023. Nacua set NFL rookie records for receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486) on the way to being named second-team NFL All-Pro.

“(Pearsall) will need to prove that he has the ability to free himself against NFL man coverage,” wrote NFL analyst Lance Zierlein. “”Pearsall might get the stereotypical ‘crafty route runner’ label, but it suits him. He appears to play with an idea of how to manipulate certain coverage looks and leverages. He also plays with attention to detail and a consistent route tempo to create windows, but lacks ideal foot quickness to beat press and maintain separation.”

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