The Cincinnati Bengals accomplished something they really needed to in the 2022 NFL Draft. They secured some young promising players to plug into their secondary that could see some serious turnover this offseason. They used their second round selection on corner back Cam Taylor-Britt, and it seems like they found something there.
The analytics for the rookie corner rankings are in, and Taylor-Britt showed he belongs in this league:
Rookie CB ratings combining percentile rank of PFF/SIS metrics. 50 = league average CB pic.twitter.com/Az2LkZ2fh7— James Foster (@NoFlagsFilm) February 8, 2023
According to this combination of data, Taylor-Britt finished in the top 10 of all rookie corners. Outside of Sauce Gardner being an absolute monster, all of these guys had their struggles, which is to be expected of rookies. It is a huge step from covering college wide receivers to some of the best athletes in the world.
The data mostly supports what we saw with our eyes. He was very solid in coverage, and he rarely got beat badly. He also made some very physical tackles, but he did have a few missed tackles that he could easily clean up. Overall, Cincinnati got exactly what they were looking for when they drafted him. Taylor-Britt is a solid to good option as a zone boundary corner who has a little bit of that dog in him.
He will start trending more towards that good level after he has some experience under his belt. Taylor-Britt missed most of training camp after getting core surgery. He didn’t suit up until Week 7, and then he ended up starting every game from Week 8 on. He played a vast majority of the snaps along the way as well.
Hopefully, Chidobe Awuzie is able to return early next season at his high level of play to slot on the opposite side of Taylor-Britt. Otherwise, we will likely see Eli Apple re-signed as at least a depth piece as well as holding that spot down until Awuzie is healthy. We should also be seeing fellow rookie Daxton Hill move to safety next season as it is almost a foregone conclusion that safety Jessie Bates will be leaving via free agency. We will have to see the impact that could have on Taylor-Britt’s performance. Going from such an experienced safety blanket behind you to a fellow young player could leave less room for error.
It is good to see that at least one spot on that defense should be held down for the next few years as we could see many faces leaving as the Bengals will have to choose whether to retain their offensive pieces or defensive players. It is the unfortunate side to the business that you can’t keep everyone.