4 Bengals to pay close attention to during training camp

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Daxton Hill (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

How big of a role will Daxton Hill have in the Bengals’ secondary?

There are two trains of thought about why the Bengals selected Daxton Hill in the first round of the NFL Draft. Getting three safeties onto the field is an emerging trend, and the thought of Hill joining Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell is undoubtedly exciting. However, it soon became apparent that Bates’ contract would be a stumbling block, which was the likely reason for the Hill selection.

It will be interesting to see how Hill is used in the preseason, considering Bates is threatening to miss at least the early part, if not more, of training camp. The thought of Hill as a playmaking, roaming safety is undoubtedly intriguing, and it could be worth Tycen Anderson taking the Bates role in practice to allow Hill more freedom.

In college, Hill played across the Michigan defense. Last season he took most of his snaps in the slot but also showed ability at the free safety spot and closer to the action coming downhill into the box. He could be used in any of the spots for the Bengals and even as a tight end eraser a la Tre Flowers late last year.

It will be interesting to see how Lou Anarumo uses Hill and whether he can transition seamlessly into the NFL. The hope will be that he can play a prominent role in this defense from day 1, whether as a complement to Jessie Bates or thrown into a starting role should Bates not be up to speed come season kickoff.

Next. 5 Reasons to be Excited About Bengals in 2022. dark