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Bengals 2022 NFL Draft grades roundup

Passing grades all around.

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NFL: APR 28 2022 Draft Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The always accurate and never premature NFL Draft grades for the class of 2022 are out around the internet, and the Cincinnati Bengals appear to be hanging onto a 3.0 GPA.

It was a much different Draft compared to the last two years when Cincinnati was picking at the top of the order. With just six picks, Duke Tobin and Co. sought to improve the depth of the secondary while also getting younger in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Here’s how the Bengals’ draft class graded out among the top draft analysts.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic

  • Ranking: 14th out of 32

“The appeal with Hill is his versatility to play anywhere in the secondary. He can attach himself to slot receivers as a nickel, play more of a two-safety look, and he could realistically line up outside with his above-average athleticism. One scout told me that Hill will be the best defensive back out of Michigan since Charles Woodson, and it is hard to disagree.”

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

  • Grade: B

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

  • Grade: B

“This team has really improved in the offseason and can again push for the Super Bowl. They needed help in the secondary, and they landed it with three picks there. Third-round defensive tackle Zach Carter is a player to watch.”

Ian Wharton, Complex

  • Grade: C

Chad Rueter, NFL.com

  • Grade: A-

“Cincinnati reacted to the team’s disappointing pass defense in the Super Bowl loss by selecting two versatile athletes in Hill and Taylor-Britt to bolster the secondary. Carter has potential as an inside playmaker, but time will tell if he was the best option at that position of need. Volson is a tough player who shifted between guard and tackle for the Bison. Anderson’s speed/tenacious nature and Gunter’s power on the edge made them very good Day 3 selections.”

Pro Football Focus

  • Grade: B+

Danny Kelly, The Ringer

  • Grade: B

“Versatility was the motif for the Bengals’ draft, with the team using its top two picks on line-them-up-anywhere defensive backs in Michigan’s Daxton Hill and Nebraska’s Cam Taylor-Britt. They weren’t done there, though: Third-round Florida defensive lineman Zach Carter is also capable of lining up all across the line, and fifth-round safety Tycen Anderson out of Toledo brings experience at both safety and nickel cornerback. Cincy’s weekend as a whole wasn’t super flashy, but the players they added give defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo a boost in schematic flexibility in 2022 and beyond.”

Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated

  • Grade: B

Mark Maske, Washington Post

  • Grade: C+

“The defending AFC champs focused on their defense early. The Bengals did well to get versatile CB/S Daxton Hill late in the first round. They took G Cordell Volson in the fourth round. But it might have been wise to devote some Day 2 resources to the offensive line, even after the significant moves the Bengals made there in free agency. Safeguarding QB Joe Burrow is that important. Getting a TE early also might have made sense.”

Ryan Gosling, Pro Football Network

  • Grade: A-

Nate Davis, USA Today

  • Grade: B

“They so thoroughly revamped their offensive line during free agency, the Bengals didn’t draft a blocker (Cordell Volson) until Round 4. First-round DB Daxton Hill is a versatile player who should contribute early and might replace FS Jessie Bates III in a year if the franchise-tagged standout doesn’t get extended. Yet you wonder if the AFC champs, who admittedly didn’t have any needs in their starting lineup, should’ve spun some of those picks forward into 2023.”