The Cincinnati Bengals spent their first-round pick on Daxton Hill out of Michigan and while fans were mostly okay with the pick, not everyone sees it as a good fit.
Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report put together a list of rookies who he believes were drafted by the wrong team. Since I’m writing this article and explaining his article, you probably already guessed that Hill made an appearance on the list.
Davenport’s main reasoning for why the Bengals aren’t a great fit for Hill is that they’re already armed with two great safety options in Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. While Davenport is aware that the team could lose both of those players next year, he feels drafting Hill to battle it out with Eli Apple isn’t a great move.
"The Bengals already have a pair of more than capable starting safeties in Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell, although both are free agents after the season. In Mike Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie, the slot and one of the boundary spots are accounted for.Could the Bengals use an upgrade on Eli Apple at the other outside spot? Yes. But either they are planning that a conversion will work quickly with Hill or the team looked to 2023 with its first-round pick.Both are risks. And had Hill dropped just another spot, he could have landed on a Vikings team in which he would have slid right back into the defensive role he’s familiar with."
Are the Bengals not an ideal fit for Daxton Hill?
Truthfully, while I wanted to see Cincinnati draft a cornerback with their first-round pick, I was fine with them selecting Hill. As Davenport notes, the team did look to 2023 with this pick and that’s okay. It’s not like Hill was a wasted pick who won’t play during his rookie year.
Cam Taylor-Britt, who was drafted in the second round, will be the one competing with Eli Apple for the starting job. That won’t be Hill vying for a spot there.
I get that the Daxton Hill pick wasn’t flashy — Drafting a safety never is. At the same time, though, the Bengals looked ahead to the future with the potential departures of both Bates and Bell and I can’t fault them for that.
The Bengals might not be considered as good of a landing spot for Hill as the Vikings might have been for him, but he’ll make an impact for this defense.