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Cowboys had top-20 grade on Bengals’ 1st-round pick Dax Hill

Dallas had Hill graded right below their own first-round selection.

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NCAA Football: Michigan at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

How the first 30 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft went down made the Cincinnati Bengals’ decision at 31 very easy.

Dax Hill became the newest Bengal with the second-to-last pick in the first round. He was the highest-graded player on their board at the time, and this was nearly the case with at least one other club.

In an attempt to validate the Dallas Cowboys’ first-round selection of offensive lineman Tyler Smith, team owner Jerry Jones revealed the team’s top-39 graded prospects. Jon Machota of The Athletic was able to decipher 34 of them. 14 had first-round grades, and 20 had second-round grades.

Hill was 18th on the Cowboys’ board, just outside of the first-round for them.

Plenty of names under Hill on this particular board were heavily associated with the Bengals leading up to the Draft. George Karlaftis (21st), Kyler Gordon (24th), Tyler Linderbaum (25th), Kaiir Elam (29th), Devonte Wyatt (33rd) and Logan Hall (34th) were all graded as second-round players as well.

Lewis Cine, also a safety, was the only player ranked higher (13th) than Hill remaining in the Draft when the Bengals picked Hill.

This is just one team, but getting insight like this is always a rare treat for fans. It also shows that Hill firmly belonged in the discussion to go off the board earlier than he did.