2012 Rookie TEs: Orson Charles, Cincinnati Bengals
By Matt Waldman
Posted July 15th, 2012

Strengths: A thickly built, swift tight end that delivers pop as a blocker and ball carrier, Charles understands how to use his pads to break tackles and his hands to deliver a punch as a run blocker. Charles is a high-effort player with good hands and the ability to catch the ball in traffic, take the shot, and maintain possession of the football. He has the speed to stretch the field, and a missed tackle in the flat or over the middle on a shorter route could result in a long gain.

Weaknesses: He needs to improve his approach to getting off the line of scrimmage when bumped during his release. He has a good swim move, but Charles needs to expand on his arsenal of techniques. He has occasional lapses with hands technique when catching the football and will drop targets with a higher degree of difficulty, but nonetheless catchable. He's more power than finesse, and he'll need to work on his fade routes to maximize his effectiveness as an NFL receiver.

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2012 Outlook: The Bengals have stocked their roster with young receiving talent. If all the players hit immediately, Charles could be sitting on the sidelines when the offense takes the field. However, it's more likely that Charles will have a situational role as a move-tight end in run-based sets. This will translate to production in the passing game, but not at a level consistent enough to draft him unless starter Jermaine Gresham gets hurt.

Dynasty Outlook: Charles dropped in the draft because he was barely over the legal limit for alcohol blood level when pulled over in Athens, Ga. just after his pro day. This was a one-and-done type of mistake for a player that by all accounts should have been a second-round pick. Within two or three seasons, Charles has the ability to challenge Gresham for targets and relegate the Bengals current starter to a complementary role as a situational receiver. It's a risk with the Bengals to bet on that possibility, but fortunately Charles is worth an investment because fantasy owners are frequently letting him drop to the end of rookie drafts if they pick him at all. He's a must-stash if you have room on your roster in a PPR league that values tight ends with a little extra in the scoring rules.

NFL Comparison: In the right situation, Charles has the potential to develop into a player with Dallas Clark's productivity. If he doesn't work at his game, Charles is more likely to disappoint fantasy owns in the same way Ben Watson did with the Patriots. Physically, Charles is a blend of both players.

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