3 Cincinnati Bengals whose stock rose following the 2022 NFL Draft
1. Hayden Hurst and Drew Sample
Again, I’m putting two players here because they’re in a similar-ish situation. For this entry, however, we’re discussing the Bengals’ tight ends for the 2022 season.
After losing C.J. Uzomah in free agency, some fans were hoping to see the stripes target a tight end in the draft. While it’s something we wanted, it did feel that there was never a strong sense that the team was going to head in that direction.
They signed Hayden Hurst to a one-year deal in free agency and also have Drew Sample returning for the fourth and final year of his rookie deal. It’s felt like Zac Taylor is higher on Sample than the fans and perhaps that played into why the team didn’t target a tight end in the draft.
Both guys have the 2022 season to prove they can be viable tight ends in the league. Hurst showed he can do that in 2020 with the Falcons but otherwise, his numbers have not been great and even that 2020 season didn’t live up to Hurst’s first-round selection.
Sample was a second-round pick in 2019 and hasn’t done much of anything during his pro career. He stepped in while Uzomah was injured in 2020 but that momentum didn’t carry over into 2021, as he had just 81 yards off of 11 receptions.
With no tight ends joining the party through the draft, however, both Hurst and Sample’s stocks rose. They have another shot to prove they can carry the load at the tight end position.
Want your voice heard? Join the Stripe Hype team!
These Cincinnati Bengals benefited from the picks that were made in the 2022 NFL Draft.