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Assessing the value in Dax Hill

The Bengals’ first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft proved to be one of the biggest steals in Round 1.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When it came time for the 2022 NFL Draft, it was evident the Cincinnati Bengals were fully committed to upgrading the defense, especially the secondary.

Out of their six draft picks, Cincinnati landed five defensive players, three of which were defensive backs.

Of course, that began in Round 1 when the Bengals got Michigan Wolverines do-it-all safety Daxton Hill with the 31st pick. That also proved to be one of the best value picks any team made in Round 1.

Going into the draft, Hill was ranked 14th overall by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. Fellow ESPN talking head Todd McShay ranked Hill 18th.

CBS Sports was also high on Hill, ranking him 18th overall.

Pro Football Focus wasn’t a big fan of Hill going this high, as their pre-draft big board had the Michigan DB ranked 37th.

Arif Hasan’s consensus big board at The Athletic had Hill coming in at 26th overall.

All told, you really couldn’t have asked for a better pick for the Bengals based on who was on the board at this point. And it could prove to be a massive pickup based on what happens in 2023 when current Bengals starting safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates are set to become free agents.

Hill may have a limited role in 2022 just because of how deep the secondary is, but that could quickly change next year. So while he may ultimately prove to be one of the bigger steals in this year’s draft, we probably won’t see that come to fruition for at least a few seasons.

In the meantime, look for Hill to get limited playing time at safety and as a second slot cornerback in dime formations as a rookie.