One of those was at tight end, where they landed former Patriots third-round pick Devin Asiasi. His arrival, at least in part, played a role in free agent O.J. Howard instead signing with the Texans.
But if the Bengals are a bit miffed about that they sure aren’t showing it. In fact, tight ends coach James Casey threw out an interesting comparison while talking up the move.
“He’s a young player who’s got ability and talent. Still a little bit inexperienced, but watching him on film, he can block the tight end,” Casey said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “It’s not like (C.J.) Uzomah is a super flashy guy, but he’s making eight million because he’s smart and can block … The guys you can trust to block are really valuable and you look at it, there’s something like 15 tight ends drafted, there’s not a lot of guys out there.”
Asiasi arrives as immediate depth behind Drew Sample and Mitchell Wilcox at the spot (the same thing Howard would have done). But it’s pretty interesting to hear coaches already throw out Uzomah’s name as a reference point. Uzomah was a fifth-rounder in 2015 who didn’t play all that much his first few seasons, either.
We’re perhaps a long ways off from seeing Asiasi contribute, as he likely won’t even be active for Week 1. But this is the sort of long-term thinking that eventually pays off for teams.