Here are the team’s winners and losers based on their Day 2 picks in the draft.
Lou Anarumo (again): The Bengals used their first-round pick on edge defender Myles Murphy, which surely made the team’s defensive coordinator very happy. Then, in the second round, they stuck with the defensive side of the ball, grabbing Turner. The Michigan defensive back is a great athlete, which gives Anarumo another young and fast cornerback to add depth to a position that sorely needed it. It also ensures the team doesn’t have to scramble to replace Chidobe Awuzie, who is entering his contract year. Then they added another defensive back in Battle. They’re going all in on defense so far in this draft.
Daxton Hill: Hill is getting ready to fill the big shoes that Jessie Bates III left behind when he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. Bates has been such a huge part of the Bengals’ success on defense over the last few years, and the Bengals decided one good way of helping Hill adjust could be by reuniting him with his college teammate from Michigan, Turner. Some people say safety is the quarterback of the defense, and if that’s true, they’ll surely be hoping that Hill and Turner have the same kind of magic Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have together.
Irv Smith Jr. and Drew Sample: Surely the Bengals would take a tight end, a major position of need in the third round after passing on talented ones in the first and second rounds, right? Nope. They’re going into the final day of the draft, and they still haven’t selected a tight end, which means Smith and Sample are still options A and B for the position in 2023, at least for now.
Joe Mixon: The Bengals could be looking to get out from under Mixon’s large contract, especially considering his struggles in pass blocking, his lack of production in 2022, and his pending legal issues. However, things didn’t fall the way the team may have hoped as Jahmyr Gibbs was drafted early in the first round and then Zach Charbonnet was selected in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks, and then there was a run on running backs in the third that saw Kendre Miller, Tyjae Spears, Devon Achane, and Tank Bigsby get picked. They could look to upgrade the position on Saturday, but at this point, it seems Mixon is still likely to be leading the backfield in 2023.
Sidney Jones: Jones was a winner Thursday night when the Bengals passed up on Joey Porter Jr. in the first round. That all changed on Friday night when the Bengals selected Turner in the second round. Jones was looking to be the team’s third corner, behind Awuzie, Cam Taylor-Britt, and Mike Hilton, but he’ll now likely be fighting with Turner for playing time this year and possibly beyond.
Tycen Anderson: The Bengals selected safety Jordan Battle with their third-round selection after trading back a couple of spots with the Chiefs. Battle has the potential to compete for the starting safety position with Nick Scott right away, but it appears that Anderson, who was drafted last year, could be squeezed out.
Jonah Williams: Most people thought that if the Bengals were to trade Williams like he requested, it would be for a Day 2 pick, possibly a third-rounder, and it was reported that the Bengals had been in contact with several teams about moving him. However, they didn’t trade him, and they also didn’t address the offensive tackle position, which means it stands to reason that they’re counting on Williams starting at right tackle in Week 1.
Darnell Washington fans: It looked as though the Bengals might land athletic tight end Darnell Washington at the end of the third round, but they traded back a couple of spots, losing Washington to the Steelers (of all teams). Now, not only do Washington fans not get to see the guy in a Bengals uniform, but they have to see him in a Steelers uniform twice a year.