The Cincinnati Bengals’ safety room will look dramatically different next season. The team lost Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell in free agency, then added former Los Angeles Rams starter Nick Scott to pair with 2022 first-round pick Daxton Hill.
This selection was part of a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, as Cincinnati originally held the 92nd pick, then traded it to Kansas City to move down three spots and acquired the 217th pick in Round 6, which was used to take Michigan Wolverines punter Brad Robbins.
The 6-foot-1, 209-pound Battle was a two-time All-American and a team captain who recorded 71 tackles, two pass deflections, and one interception across 13 games during the 2022 season.
For his career, Battle racked up 252 total tackles, six interceptions, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, 10 pass deflections, and three defensive scores.
Entering this year’s draft, Battle was projected to go in the Round 2-4 range, and the Bengals were very excited to get him where they did.
- The Athletic draft expert Dane Brugler had Battle ranked 89th overall.
- ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranked Battle 121st overall.
- The Pro Football Focus big board ranked Battle 82nd overall.
- CBS Sports’ rankings had Battle coming in at 95th overall.
- ESPN’s Todd McShay had Battle ranked 87th overall.
- The 2023 NFL Draft Consensus Big Board ranked Battle 74th overall.
Looking ahead to this fall, Battle has a good shot at becoming the first safety off the bench behind Hill and Scott. However, don’t be surprised if the rookie eventually fights his way into the starting lineup.