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Which Bengals rookie will have biggest impact in 2023?

Forget the distant future for one second.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOV 19 Illinois at Michigan Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Obviously, the best prospect the Bengals drafted is first round pick Myles Murphy out of Clemson. He’s an elite athletic prospect at a premium position (edge rusher).

But the Bengals already have a top-tier pass rusher, Trey Hendrickson, on one side of the line and another very solid overall end, Sam Hubbard, on the other. Meanwhile, Joseph Ossai flashed potential in the postseason and could be big as a situational pass rusher.

Murphy will, no doubt, see the field a lot and probably make some amazing plays, but the pick largely makes sense as an investment in the future, when the team may have to part ways with Hendrickson.

Second round pick DJ Turner, meanwhile, could develop into a CB1 with his amazing quickness and fluidity. But right now that spot belongs to veteran Chidobe Awuzie, who, before his ACL injury, was one of the best shutdown corners in the league.

On the other side of the secondary is Cam Taylor-Britt, a physical corner who started to find his way late last season, his rookie year. The former second round pick is clearly viewed as the CB2 of 2023 and the future as well.

That means Turner will probably be CB3 for 2023, even though, beyond that he could end up as their top corner. This is because Awuzie’s contract ends after this year, and if he returns to form, he’ll be set to get a huge raise, which, with the upcoming contracts of Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Ja’Marr Chase, probably won’t be possible.

Third round pick Jordan Battle is exactly the kind of safety the Bengals seek. Smart, high character, and great instincts. But the Bengals just signed Nick Scott to a $12 million contract, meaning Battle is a future investment as well. And the other safety spot is secured (for now, at least) by 2022 first round pick Dax Hill.

Fourth round pick Charlie Jones will make plays at wide receiver, but, unless one of Cincinnati’s big three at wide receiver gets injured or the Bengals trade Tyler Boyd (they won’t), Jones won’t be doing much more than taking targets away from Trenton Irwin for now. And while sixth round pick Andrei Iosivas has high upside, he will have an even steeper hill to climb to get targets than Jones.

Seventh round pick D.J. Ivey will merely provide depth at corner, if he even makes the team.

That leaves two players: fifth round pick Chase Brown and sixth round pick Brad Robbins. Brown will be a Samaje Perine replacement as a hard runner with an aggressive style of pass blocking. In fact, he could be more than that if he outperforms (or the team decides to move on from) Joe Mixon. And Robbins will be an upgrade over the two punters the Bengals rostered last year. His significantly-higher hang time could’ve been the difference in the AFC Championship Game.

While we won’t look back at either of those players as being the most valuable in three or four years, they might make a big difference immediately for a team looking to contend for a third straight year.

So what is your pick?


Which Bengals rookie will have the biggest impact in 2023

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Myles Murphy
    (401 votes)
  • 11%
    DJ Turner
    (191 votes)
  • 8%
    Jordan Battle
    (153 votes)
  • 6%
    Charlie Jones
    (112 votes)
  • 29%
    Chase Brown
    (505 votes)
  • 0%
    Andrei Iosivas
    (12 votes)
  • 20%
    Brad Robbins
    (354 votes)
  • 0%
    D.J. Ivey
    (5 votes)
1733 votes total Vote Now

And to hear us grade the Bengals’ picks and also speak with undrafted free agent Shedrick Jackson, watch below:

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