With the 95th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jordan Battle. He primarily played strong safety for the Tide.
This pick came after the Bengals initially held the 92nd pick, then traded it to the Kansas City Chiefs to move down three spots. The Bengals got the 95th pick in Round 3 and the 217th pick, which is the final selection in Round 6. The Chiefs used the 92nd pick to take Oklahoma Sooners offensive tackle Wanya Morris.
The 6-foot-1, 209-pound Battle was a two-time Third-Team All-American in the last two seasons. In 2022, the team captain racked up 71 tackles, two pass deflections, and one interception. Back in 2021, the Florida native recorded 85 tackles, three pass deflections, and three interceptions.
There were actually some early mock drafts that had Battle to Cincinnati in Round 1, but those quickly disappeared after he tested poorly at the NFL Combine. He was still projected in the Round 2-3 range, so another solid value selection for the Bengals.
Here is Battle’s NFL.com profile from Lance Zierlein, which includes a pro comparison to Chiefs safety Justin Reid.
Battle offers the size, speed and pedigree to become a starter early in his NFL career. Film study shows a certain sageness to his game. He is usually where he needs to be on the field and helps his defense move on to the next play. He’s athletic enough for man coverage and is field-aware as a split safety. He’s not a thumper in run support and will miss tackles when he’s slow to find his positioning, but he typically finishes plays that are in front of him. Battle has the physical and mental makeup to upgrade a defense in need of steady safety play.
- Versatility to cover the slot and support versus the run in the box.
- Pursues ball-carriers with patience and adequate leverage.
- Careful not to get trapped inside traffic near the line.
- Steps downhill to tackle with toughness and technique.
- Moves fluidly in coverage and transitions with good balance.
- Instincts and processing to make plays.
- Returned three of six career interceptions for touchdowns.
- Run support consistency diminishes away from the line.
- Average feel for reading runner’s open-field cuts.
- Lacks high-end stopping punch against big backs.
- Can be a little late breaking down to tackle in space.
- Takes time to build up speed when ranging over the top.
- Comes in a little too hot pursuing hitches to the flank.
The Consensus Big Board had Battle ranked 74th overall, and the Bengals got him 21 spots later.
The Bengals’ remaining top draft needs are:
RB, TE, DT, P.
Bengals Draft Picks 2023
- Round 1 (28) - Clemson DE Myles Murphy
- Round 2 (60) - Michigan CB DJ Turner
- Round 3 (95) - Alabama DB Jordan Battle
- Round 4 (131)
- Round 5 (163)
- Round 6 (206)
- Round 6 (217)
- Round 7 (246)
Day 2 NFL Draft schedule: 7 pm ET, Friday, April 28th
How to watch the NFL Draft: For TV coverage, there’s the NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, and ESPN Deportes. For an online stream, go with YouTube TV, Hulu+ Live TV, Fubo TV, and Sling TV.
Here’s a link to the full NFL Draft order and live draft tracker!
Now, what are your thoughts on the new Bengals draftee? Let us know in the comments section!!