The Cincinnati Bengals selected former Washington Huskies tight end Drew Sample in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, making the up-and-comer the fourth player at this position off the board over the weekend.
As a result of such a selection, new Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan has since come to the defense of Sample while explaining the team's decision to draft him well ahead of where he was originally projected to find his NFL home.
“He is a really, really versatile tight end,” Callahan recently said, via The Athletic. “He’s extremely intelligent. He’s going to play a heavy role for us on offense. He makes our tight end group a little more dynamic with the guys we already have here. We’re really, really excited about Drew, getting him in the building and getting him started.”
However, it is also worth noting that the Bengals do not see this selection as an insurance policy.
“I wouldn’t call it that,” Callahan added, via The Athletic. “I think he’s a really good player. I view him as an addition that will help us. He’s a young player we feel really good about pairing with C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Eifert. He fits a different role than them. He isn’t a replacement or insurance, just an addition to a room that was solid to begin with. I think we improved it quite a bit by adding Drew.”
Unfortunately for the rebuilding Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers all appear to be legitimate threats in the AFC ahead of the 2019 campaign.