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
2 of 4

Round 3: Pick 95 - Jordan Battle, Safety

Original Selection - Jordan Battle, Safety

The same goes for our third-round pick, Jordan Battle. The safety position was always going to suffer in a year of transition, and at times things have been ugly. Nick Scott has had missed tackles and blown coverages, allowing Battle to take snaps.

While splitting time with Scott, Battle flashed some solid plays and slowly ate away at the veteran's playing time. This culminated in 56 snaps against the Ravens and a season-high ten tackles. Battle's experience in the SEC as a leader for Alabama has served him well.

The Bengals' secondary will be a young one going forward, but Battle looks like a solid find in the middle rounds. For that reason, he remains the third-round pick.

Round 4: Pick 131 - Puka Nacua, Wide Receiver

Original Selection - Charlie Jones, Wide Receiver

With Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd set to be free agents this offseason, the Bengals had to address the wide receiver position. They did so with the selections of Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas in rounds four and six respectively. Jones, in particular, has been earmarked as the future slot receiver.

His early time with the Bengals has been marred by injury. That has stopped him from getting a regular run at receiver, but he has demonstrated his speed and change of direction multiple times as a punt returner.

It's difficult to ignore another receiver that would have been available at this spot despite all that. The Rams selected Puka Nacua in the fifth round and he has been a revelation. With 897 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Nacua instantly became Matt Stafford's favorite target.

That kind of production suggests Nacua has the ability to be a WR1 in most systems. He would project as an immediate replacement for Higgins, should he be lost in free agency. That gives him the nod over Jones in this scenario. This is obviously assuming that Nacua would make it this far in a re-draft, which seems doubtful considering his production this year.