How Bengals’ selection of Daxton Hill measures up to pre-draft rankings

Daxton Hill (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Daxton Hill (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

With the 31st overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected defensive back Daxton Hill, Michigan, which is an excellent selection.

But does the Bengals’ 31st overall selection match the pre-draft rankings from the experts? Yes, it does. Almost exactly.

Pro Football Focus’ final ranking for the former Wolverine was 37th overall. Mock Draft Database’s final score was 28. NFL Draft Buzz ranked Hill 26th overall, and their “All Scouts Average Overall Rank” was 35.6. The average of those four numbers? You guessed it, 31.

Nail, meet head.

If you believe in pre-draft rankings, the good news is the Bengals did not reach with their selection of Hill. It is safe to say that they probably did not get a “steal” either.

That is unless you are ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. As reported by Cincinnati Enquirer’s Dave Clark, Kiper thinks that Hill should have gone much earlier.

"… He will come in and be an immediate impact performer. A guy who can get after the quarterback. He tackles well in space. He’s aggressive. He’s got ball skills. I don’t know what the kid’s lacking, guys. I thought he was one of the best 13, 14 players in this draft. Versatility – he’s perfect for the way the game’s played today in the National Football League. Daxton Hill, to me, one of the steals in the draft so far. … Daxton Hill should’ve gone maybe 10-15 picks earlier,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said."

The Bengals got an excellent player, regardless of when anyone thinks he should have gone off the board.

The pre-draft rankings mean nothing for newest Bengals DB, Daxton Hill.

Now Hill can play and show the NFL world and draftniks that he should have been ranked higher. Thus showing he was a “steal” after all.

Some might have been disappointed that Cincinnati passed on a cornerback (Andrew Booth was still on the board), but this pick still addresses the secondary and that’s a big win for the reigning AFC champs.

"Cincinnati Bengals: All-time passing leaders in franchise history"

Who Dey?!