Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL Draft Recap

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL Draft Recap

by May 6, 2022 0 comments

After vastly improving their offensive line in free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals turned their attention to the draft. Cincinnati still had needs in the secondary and their pass-rush room and could afford to add more talent across the offensive line in case of injury. With eight picks originally, the Bengals moved up twice in the draft, moving up three spots with the Buffalo Bills in the second round and nine with the Chicago Bears in the fifth round. By the end of the weekend, the Bengals made six total selections. 

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Recaps.

Best Pick: Daxton Hill (Round 1, Pick 31)

Despite bringing back Jessie Bates on the franchise tag, adding talent to the safety room was a necessity. Bates is still only on the franchise tag, therefore a one-year contract. Bates, Vonn Bell, Brandon Wilson, and Michael Thomas are all free agents in 2023. Hill was arguably a top 10 talent in the class and offers versatility to a room that desperately needs it. Lou Anarumo proved that he is one of the most underrated defensive coordinators in the game. With a talent like Hill, the Cincinnati defense will only improve this year. 

Grade: A

For more on Hill, check out our scouting report on him. 

Worst Pick: Jeffrey Gunter (Round 7, Pick 252)

To preface this pick, this wasn’t a bad one. The Bengals filled all of their needs on defense and picked players just about where they were valued by the general public. Gunter was almost everyone’s late-round pass rusher that they wanted. He finds his way to Cincinnati, where he seems buried on the depth chart behind last year’s draft choices Joseph Ossai and Cameron Sample, not to mention starters Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. Gunter isn’t a bad player by any means, but there had to be a choice here. 

Grade: B

Sleeper Pick: Cordell Volson (Round 4, Pick 136)

Even with the additions on the offensive line, the Bengals got a steal at the end of the fourth round as Volson slipped to them. The North Dakota State brings plenty of starting experience to the fold and will offer a versatile backup option along the offensive line for the Bengals this year. While Cincinnati did add La’el Collins via free agency, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Volson get starting snaps at either tackle spot, as both Collins and Jonah Williams have dealt with injuries throughout their careers. 

Grade: B+

For more on Volson, check out our scouting report on him. 

Summary 

After a fantastic season that ended in an AFC Championship, the Bengals had a stellar draft. They attacked their needs across the defense, including adding three players to a secondary that needed reinforcements and depth. Cincinnati moved up twice in the draft to get Cam Taylor-Britt and Tycen Anderson. Those two plus Hill will add to a secondary that already includes Bates, Bell, and Chidobe Awuzie. Perhaps the only knock on the draft class could be not selecting a tight end after losing C.J. Uzomah in free agency or adding a linebacker with decisions to make on upcoming free agents. 

Grade: A-


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