The 2022 NFL Draft is in the books and the newest set of Bengals are in the fold. Cincinnati only six picks to the surprise of some, but they grabbed some players with highly-athletic profiles.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from the team’s pick on the final afternoon.
He had to wait until Round 4, but he got one of his trademark “Glass-Eaters” in Cordell Volson. People can debate whether the small school product was a reach or not, but the film shows a tenacious player with a mean streak.
Oh, and do we still need to talk about what the Bengals did in free agency?
First three picks on defense, you say? Coach Lou said “Yes, please!”. But, that wasn’t enough, as the team drafted yet another talented secondary player in Tycen Anderson in Round 5.
Cincinnati’s defense got young, fast, athletic and versatile, while also having long-term plans in place, should the Bengals have trouble locking down veteran contracts down the road.
Robert Livingston and Charles Burks:
The Bengals’ defensive backs coaches received a ton of clay to mold this weekend. ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. gushed about Anderson’s traits after the pick, noting that Cincinnati will love the clay to mold.
The Bengals’ defensive line coach got a useful player in the third round and then the team double-dipped on the line with a value pick at edge rusher in Jeffrey Gunter. Hobby got a lot out of his line last year and will have a couple more toys with which to tinker.
Oh, and he gets both Wyatt Hubert and Joseph Ossai back this year. It’s a pretty nice situation for the position coach.
Jackson Carman, Trey Hill and Hakeem Adeniji:
Carman has been praised by his coaches this offseason, as they potentially groom him to take over the left guard spot, but a terrible report surfaced earlier this week, making everyone wonder what the future holds for the 2021 second-round pick. Adeniji struggled last season and was a pick from Pollack’s predecessor, while Hill was a penalty machine in spot duty last season.
The pick of Cordell Volson immediately puts pressure on Adeniji, whom the Bengals loved for his positional flexibility. Despite thoughts on Volson may or may not being a reach, his past experience playing both tackle and guard spots in college may not only be a replacement there, but also may push Carman aside, should the news bomb from this week hold new information for the club.
Any veteran safety with expiring deals after 2022:
Jessie Bates is playing on the franchise tag, as he and his side haven’t seemingly come close to agreeing to a long-term deal since engaging in talks last spring and summer. Vonn Bell has been a good addition to the defense, but is on the last year of his 2020 free agency deal. Lastly, Brandon Wilson is on the final year of his deal and the selection of three versatile defensive backs bring contingency plans, should more talks go sideways.
Daxton Hill will likely fill the role left by the now-retired Ricardo Allen, but the Bengals played a bit of the leverage game here with both he and Tycen Anderson. We’ll see who the Bengals keep after this offseason—particularly as it goes with the Bates situation.