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Assessing the value in Tycen Anderson

The Bengals traded up in Round 5 to keep Anderson in-state.

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NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

With the 166th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals added to their defensive-heady haul with Toledo safety Tycen Anderson. He became the fifth defensive player and third defensive back the Bengals landed with their six draft picks.

And like Cam Taylor-Britt in Round 2, the Bengals traded up to make sure they got Anderson in Round 5, surrendering a seventh-round pick in the process to the Chicago Bears. The eight-spot jump to get him was actually the third-largest trade up in Bengals draft history.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Anderson finished his career with 233 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two interceptions, 16 pass deflections, and two forced fumbles. He had 44 tackles, two tackles for loss, two pass deflections, and one sack during the 2021 season.

Anderson’s most productive season came in 2019 when he racked up 84 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and five pass deflections.

Draft value-wise, Anderson was a solid pick in Round 5.

ESPN’s Todd McShay ranked Anderson 154th overall. Mel Kiper Jr. didn’t have Anderson among his top 225 players but did rank him 12th among safeties.

CBS Sports did not have Anderson among their top 150 players, but PFF ranked him 113th overall.

The Athletic’s consensus big board via Arif Hasan had Anderson ranked 161st.

Looking ahead, Anderson will have to earn his roster spot this year as a sixth-round pick, even if he was someone the Bengals traded up for. The Bengals already have a nice safety group with Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell, Brandon Wilson, Michael Thomas and Trayvon Henderson, while first-round pick Dax Hill figures to play both safety and slot cornerback.

It’s certainly an uphill climb for Anderson to make the roster, so it’s possible he ends up on the practice squad for much of his rookie season if another team doesn’t pluck him off waivers.