3 cornerbacks Cincinnati Bengals should target in 2022 free agency

Donte Jackson (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Donte Jackson (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Free agency is underway, and as multiple pieces fall into place, the Cincinnati Bengals are still in need of a cornerback to complement Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton. Eli Apple is a free agent, and Trae Waynes isn’t expected to return unless something unprecedented happens.

Here are the top three cornerbacks the Bengals should target right away.

3. Carlton Davis III

  • 6-foot-1, 206 LBs
  • 25-years-old 

With Tom Brady unretiring, there is a chance that Carlton Davis returns to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This would be a monster addition for the Cincinnati Bengals defense, who could use a slot cornerback to line up alongside Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton.

Davis only had one interception last year, and there’s a reason for that. He doesn’t get the ball thrown his way that often. He is exceptionally efficient as a cornerback and one of the highest-rated free agents left on the table.

If Cincinnati lands Davis, they are not only getting a leader, but it will take a lot of pressure off of Awuzie and Hilton of covering the top receiver on the opposing team every game.

2. Donte Jackson

  • 5-foot-10, 180 LBs
  • 26-years-old

Donte Jackson is a cornerback who is flying under the radar. The Panthers could try to re-sign Stephon Gilmore, and that won’t be cheap. That may lead the Panthers to let Jackson walk and go elsewhere. Jackson had two interceptions and ten pass deflections last season along with 61 total tackles.

He is only 26-years-old as mentioned above, so he would fit the scheme that the Bengals have built their team with, which is a lot of young, proven players with who they can get on long-term deals and build chemistry. Additionally, Jackson only appeared in 12 games, so he had a solid season and is expected only to get better for his stats to be where they are.

He would be a lot cheaper than J.C. Jackson or Carlton Davis but fans would have to expect a little less productivity than the other two and possibly remain as the second cornerback on the depth chart behind Awuzie.

1. J.C. Jackson

  • 6-foot-1, 198 LBs
  • 26-years-old 

J.C. Jackson might be the best overall player available in the free-agent market, and he definitely is the best cornerback available. This means that it won’t be cheap to land Jackson. Jackson had eight interceptions last season, second to only Trevon Diggs. He also had 72 total tackles.

Jackson would be a massive pickup for the Bengals’ defense and make the secondary one of the most dynamic in the entire league. We’ll see if Duke Tobin and the front office are willing to use a good amount of money to get him, but we’ll see how active the Cincinnati Bengals are in the cornerback market in the upcoming days.