The 2023 Cincinnati Bengals draft class is complete, and the picks went how you’d expect. The Bengals looked for athletic, high-character guys and selected them at spots that could get the Bengals a return on their investment this season.
Per Sharp Football Analysis, the Bengals are in the top five for the value of their draft class, coming in at No. 4.
A quick explanation of how the value is determined by the expected capital it would take to acquire them vs. the actual capital used to select them.
best value 2023 NFL draft classes— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 29, 2023
see pic for 1-32 plus methodology
team-by-team & round-by-round analysis to follow pic.twitter.com/lEP7sNDvMF
This is what the Bengals look for, especially in the later rounds. We’ve seen a number of Day 2 players come in to Cincinnati and make an impact early in their careers. Guys like Tee Higgins and Logan Wilson are still on the roster and playing big roles. The recently departed Jessie Bates III was another Day 2 selection that performed above his draft position.
One of the picks Sharp’s analysis is the highest on is Cincinnati’s selection of safety Jordan Battle in the third round. They list that as the sixth-best value in the third round.
2023 NFL draft player selections:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 29, 2023
most underdrafted (best values)
and overdrafted (worst values)
by round (rounds 1-5) pic.twitter.com/roWZfI7DyT
The Bengals are a team with very few holes, which allows them to attack the draft this way. Not having to reach for glaring weaknesses allows the team to stay in their position for the most part and draft players that can start off as depth and hopefully evolve into impact players if needed. Roster turnover is expected on the defensive side of the ball in coming years, and the Bengals’ first three picks are a clear indication of what their intentions were.
As is normal, the actual draft didn’t look like most of the mock drafts we saw, but the Bengals got their guys, and the feeling from around the league is that they did it well.