Bengals Draft: Grading third-round selection of Zach Carter

Zachary Carter - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Zachary Carter - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Bengals have made it known that they’re solely focused on upgrading their defense. They spent the first three picks in the 2022 NFL Draft on defensive players with their third-round pick being Zach Carter out of Florida.

The pick was a little surprising, as Carter wasn’t looked at as a Day 2 selection. Hell, Dane Brugler of The Athletic had him as a sixth-round pick, making this a potentially huge reach by the stripes. Everyone has different grades on draft prospects but this definitely looks like a reach by Cincy.

Be that as it may, he’s a Bengal now and the organization is thrilled to have him in the black and orange stripes. Carter will be used inside on the d-line and should give the Bengals another pass-rushing threat for the 2022 season and beyond.

What grade do the Bengals deserve for the Zach Carter pick?

Cincinnati definitely showed that they’re wanting their defense to be even nastier this year by spending their first three picks on that side of the ball. They’re clearly looking for versatile defensive players who Lou Anuramo can move around in his defensive system and Carter fits that mold.

With that said, however, Carter could have been had on Day 3 of the draft in all likelihood. The team clearly had a much higher grade on him and they didn’t want to risk another team stealing him away but with Perrion Winfrey still on the board, it felt a little weird to go with Carter here.

I’ll give the selection of Zach Carter a C because it feels like a pretty big reach. He had a sixth-round grade on Brugler’s board while PFF had him all the way down at 203.

There were better players on the board when Cincy made this selection but they clearly think he’ll be a good fit in their defense and Duke Tobin has shown that he knows what he’s doing.

Next. Worst Draft Picks in Franchise History. dark

What grade are you giving the Zach Carter pick?