2023 NFL Draft grades: Cincinnati Bengals bolstered their defense, and will keep Super Bowl window open
Overall Cincinnati Bengals draft grade: B
The Bengals did a good job with their draft capital this year. Myles Murphy wasn’t a first-round talent on the Yahoo Sports board, but he has a chance to grow into that type of player based on his physical profile. Jordan Battle and cornerback DJ Turner II are quality additions as well for a team that needed to pack on some depth in their secondary. The Bengals' secondary is young, but they’re versatile and Battle can be a linchpin for their safety group. They took a nice upside swing in the sixth round as well with Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas. It was a good draft for the Bengals, who will need these rookies to play well as they tweak their roster for another championship run.
Favorite pick: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama (95th overall)
Battle was made to play in Lou Anarumo’s defense. He’s a smart, technically sound safety who played a whole lot of football for Nick Saban at Alabama during his four years there. Battle played in 52 career games for the Crimson Tide and can man a variety of safety spots in a pinch. His versatility is a great fit for Anarumo, who asks his safeties to do a little bit of everything. Given the fact that the Bengals lost Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III in free agency, getting a potential starter for them was a big priority coming into the draft this year.
Least favorite pick: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson (28th overall)
Murphy is a good prospect who should be a productive No. 2 edge defender across from Trey Hendrickson, but it is fair to wonder how consistently he’ll be able to finish sacks in the NFL. Murphy is a great athlete in a straight line, showing the ability to explode off the snap on a routine basis (and he ran a 4.53 40-yard dash!), but he’s not always consistent turning the corner. Picking Murphy here wasn’t necessarily a bad pick, but he may not be a consistent sack-finisher in the NFL.
Full Bengals draft
Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy (R1, 28 overall)
Michigan CB DJ Turner II (R2, 60th)
Alabama S Jordan Battle (R3, 95th)
Purdue WR Charlie Jones (R4, 131st)
Illinois RB Chase Brown (R5, 163rd)
Princeton WR Andrei Iosivas (R6, 206th)
Michigan P Brad Robbins (R6, 217th)
Miami CB D.J. Ivey (R7, 246th)