2023 NFL Re-Draft: What changes would Bengals make if they could hit reset button?

  • Should the Bengals have gone in a different direction in Round 1?
  • A breakout rookie receiver available in the mid-rounds
  • Redraft gives the Bengals a divisional rivals' rookie running back

Las Vegas Raiders v Detroit Lions
Las Vegas Raiders v Detroit Lions / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
1 of 4

Analyzing a draft class halfway through the season is entirely pointless. That's not to say it isn't fun. Players can take multiple years to develop into elite NFL players. It depends on many factors, including age, situation, competition at the position, etc., so you should never write off a player early in his career.

All that said, it's always interesting to look around the league and check out the rookies who have hit the ground running. With that in mind, take this piece with a pinch of salt as we redraft the 2023 selections (spoiler - we don't change them all). Here's what the Cincinnati Bengals could have done.

All stats provided by PFF.com.

Round 1: Pick 28 - Sam LaPorta, Tight End

Original Selection - Myles Murphy, Defensive End

It's not time to panic over the Bengals' first-round selection of Myles Murphy. Ideally, you'd hope for a player of his draft standing to have an immediate impact, but the Bengals are well-stocked on the defensive line, and Murphy has shown flashes after a slow start during training camp.

Ultimately, it could be that Murphy projects as a rotational piece for Sam Hubbard, serving as more of an effort guy whose strength is in the run game. For that reason, I've looked elsewhere for our first pick in the redraft.

Sam LaPorta was a name that came up regularly in Bengals mock drafts and there was a thought he could make it to the Bengals in the second round. However, the Lions took him off the board, and he has been a large part of a successful offense.

The former Iowa tight end has 492 receiving yards and four touchdowns. That type of production would be welcomed for the Bengals, who have been left disappointed by free agent Irv Smith Jr. With Tee Higgins struggling with injury and potentially being a free agent, another receiving option would be handy.

Round 2: Pick 60 - DJ Turner, Cornerback

Original Selection - DJ Turner, Cornerback

The Bengals have added another essential piece to their secondary in Michigan corner DJ Turner. It was clear that Turner had the speed to be effective at the next level, but he wasn't expected to be an immediate starter.

As it turns out, an injury to Chidobe Awuzie has seen him split time with the veteran. Recent weeks have been more of a challenge for Turner, who has given up chunks against the Bills and the Ravens but remains one of the top defensive rookies in the league.

Pairing Turner with Cam Taylor-Britt gives the Bengals one of the most exciting cornerback duos in the league. For that reason, our second-round pick stays the same.