Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Nick Scott in 2023

New Bengals Safety Nick Scott speaks to journalists at a press conference on Monday March 20, 2023.
New Bengals Safety Nick Scott speaks to journalists at a press conference on Monday March 20, 2023. / Phil Didion/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Bengals likely didn't expect to lose both of their starting safeties over the offseason but that's exactly what transpired. Jessie Bates was expected to leave but Vonn Bell departing was a bit of a shock, and threw the Bengals into a not-so-great situation.

Dax Hill was drafted last year to replace Bates but who would replace Bell? The answer was cleared up in free agency, as the Bengals signed Nick Scott to a three-year deal worth $12 million, according to Spotrac.

Scott was a seventh-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2019 NFL Draft and went from special teamer to starter by the time his rookie contract was up. He was on the Rams team that topped the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

What should Bengals fans expect from Nick Scott in 2023?

Now that Scott is donning orange and black instead of blue and yellow, what should Bengals fans expect from the former Ram?

Initially, it felt pretty clear that he'd be replacing Bell. The two are similar players and Scott was signed on a pretty affordable deal. Once he joined the team, fans figured it'd be Hill and Scott as the two new starting safeties.

A month later, however, the Bengals spent a third-round pick on Alabama's Jordan Battle, who could fight for the starting job and rip it away from Scott. During Tuesday's OTAs, Battle actually lined up with the first-team defense, according to Mike Petraglia.

Scott could still win the starting job due to his experience as a starter with the Rams but there's a solid chance that Battle outplays him this summer and steals the job from him. If that's the case, Scott will be a valuable depth piece for this young secondary to have.

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To sum up, Scott can either be a starting safety and Vonn Bell replacement for the Cincinnati Bengals or he can serve as depth. Either way, the Bengals are in a good spot.