Okay, yes, the Bengals need a long-term replacement at tight end. They also need an answer at right tackle. And a young running back would be nice.
And oh yeah, they just drafted a safety (Dax Hill) in the first round last year and signed Nick Scott, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams, to a $12 million deal.
But Cincinnati also lost arguably the best safety tandem in the league this offseason when Jessie Bates signed with the Atlanta Falcons and Vonn Bell signed with the Carolina Panthers.
So while the hope is that Scott will provide stability for a contender, it’s always worth going for someone with higher upside, especially for a defense that found great postseason success with safety as its strength.
That’s where Jordan Battle comes in. The former Alabama star may not be elite at one particular thing, but he’s an all-around exceptional safety and fantastic in coverage, according to ProFootball Focus.
Cincinnati selects Alabama Safety Jordan Battle 95th overall— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 29, 2023
PFF's highest graded Safety in coverage since 2020 (92.9) pic.twitter.com/XSKuarbXjL
Battle plays with great instinct and has tremendous character, two things the Bengals value highly.
Bengals get a ready smart and physical safety in Jordan Battle. He’s the perfect Vonn Bell replacement. Great eyes in zone and take on skills against the run. His instincts lead to turnovers too: pic.twitter.com/3xSiD7UKAl— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) April 29, 2023
So while there were other needs to address in the third round, Battle is the perfect example of taking what the front office perceives as the best player available, an approach that every contender is supposed to take.
Here’s what A to Z Sports’ John Sheeran had to say about the pick:
He’s mentally apt in just reading what he sees and making the calls for Alabama. He played multiple positions for the Crimson Tide secondary at the star position, which is what Minkah Fitzpatrick did back in the day, a really important spot for Nick Saban’s secondary, a leadership role. So he has all the intangibles and character that [the Bengals] want and seems like a great kid.
For more on the Battle pick as well as the selection of DJ Turner, watch the video below:
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