5 prospects in play if the Bengals trade down in 2022 NFL Draft
By Glenn Adams
Picture this — It is draft night, and fans have waited all evening to see who the Cincinnati Bengals will select with the 31st overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Finally, Commissioner Goodell steps to the dais. The Commish then announces the Bengals are trading the pick.
It could be worse. You could live in Europe and have yet to go to sleep or wake up at an ungodly time in the morning to see who Cincinnati will select, only to have to do it again the next day. Apologies for the digression.
If a trade does happen, here are five prospects the Bengals might target in the second round but will not make it to 63.
If Daxton Hill and Roger McCreary are on the board, Cincinnati might listen to offers when the Bengals are on the clock. This is, of course, assuming that Kaiir Elam and Trent McDuffie are off the board. Let’s look into the aforementioned prospects.
Many scouting services think Daxton Hill will be a safety at the next level. However, he will be a very good slot corner in the NFL.
Hill measures 6’0″, 191 pounds, and runs a 4.3 40. He has the size, speed, and explosiveness to play on the boundary and also possesses the tackling ability of a safety. In addition, he is an excellent blitzer from the slot. Just because he is a good tackler and blitzer should not exclude him from being a corner in the NFL.
Hill played the majority of his career in the slot. That is where he should start his NFL career as well.
Pro Football Focus lists Hill as a cornerback and has him ranked 36th overall. Mock Draft Database has him as a safety and ranks him 32nd overall. NFL Draft Buzz places Hill at 34 and lists him as a safety.
The Bengals will be taking a chance if they trade back while targeting Hill. However, if they can move back just a couple of spots and still select him in the second round, that is a great option.
McCreary chose an excellent time to have his best season as a cover corner. His passer rating when targeted this past season, 57.8, was only bested by Ahmad Gardner, Kyler Gordon, and Trent McDuffie.
Gardner’s passer rating was ridiculously excellent for all three years of his Bearcats career. But, unfortunately, he will be long gone before the Bengals pick in the first round.
McCreary, an excellent cover corner, is also a superb tackler. Therefore, if it comes down to Elam or McCreary, the Bengals may feel more comfortable going with McCreary because of his tackling and coverage skills. Elam, however, is perceived as the better coverage option.
Ideally, the Bengals should only trade back a couple of spots if McCreary and Hall are available at 31. If Cincinnati likes them both, but only one is available, it will be more prudent to take “he who remains.”
Having Elam, McCreary, and Hill all available at 31 would be the best outcome if you think Cincinnati should pick a corner with their first pick.