Bengals 2023 draft class receives poor grade after first season

Cincinnati had eight picks in last year's draft.
Jan 7, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Myles Murphy (99) runs onto the
Jan 7, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Myles Murphy (99) runs onto the / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have landed some franchise cornerstones in the NFL Draft in recent years. They snagged quarterback Joe Burrow with the top overall pick in 2020 and added star wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick the following year.

But, Cincinnati's 2023 draft class didn't feature the same surefire star power that some of their previous draft classes had, and the results were mixed. Now that the class has had a full season of action, it's a logical time to look back on the group as a whole to assess.

Unfortunately for Cincinnati, the results were kind of underwhelming. The Athletic recently graded every team's '23 draft class, and the Bengals received a 'D' for their first-year players.

For those who need a reminder, the Bengals drafted defensive end Myles Murphy in the first round last year, followed by cornerback D.J. Turner II in the second round and safety Jordan Battle in the third round. Their remaining picks included wide receivers Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas, running back Chase Brown, punter Brad Robbins and cornerback D.J. Ivey.

Here's what the Athletic had to say about the draft class:

"The Bengals took three swings on defense to open the 2023 draft — Myles Murphy (No. 28), DJ Turner II (No. 60) and Jordan Battle (No. 95) — and Turner looks most likely to grow into a full-time starter. Battle struggled to grasp the communication and play-to-play responsibilities of Cincinnati’s defense; Murphy didn’t make much of an impact, even as his participation increased."

Now, it's important to keep in mind that just because the class didn't blow anyone away last season doesn't mean that it's a wash. All of the players drafted in '23 are still very young and have ample room to grow and improve. Perhaps we'll see several of them take major steps forward in 2024.

Plus, just because one class was somewhat underwhelming doesn't mean the next one will be. The Bengals have 10 total picks in the upcoming '24 Draft, including No. 18 overall, and they could really round out the roster if they're able to nail some of those selections. They've landed top talent in the draft before, and now they're tasked with trying to do so again.