AFC North Top 25: 23rd-ranked player

The AFC North blog is continuing its series on the top 25 players in the division with No. 23:


Bengals tight end

Why Gresham is ranked 23rd: He's the best tight end in the division, and he'll really make that clear this season. Gresham led AFC North tight ends in receptions (56) and touchdown catches (six) last season, but he was underused in the Bengals' offense last season. With receivers Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell leaving in free agency, the Bengals will turn to Gresham after not signing a receiver in free agency or drafting one in the first two rounds. His 2012 numbers should be between 70 and 80 catches because he'll become Andy Dalton's No. 2 target behind A.J. Green. Look for the Bengals to stretch the field with Gresham more this season to take advantage of his athleticism. Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis made a point to tell reporters that Gresham came back from his first Pro Bowl with increased confidence. That should be reflected in his production.