Grades for Bengals rookies through 9 games in 2022

Cincinnati Bengals, Dax Hill
Cincinnati Bengals, Dax Hill / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

It's common knowledge that rookie classes are best evaluated at least three seasons after the draft year, but we're going to take a look at Cincinnati Bengals' rookies anyway.

Here's how the Bengals' rookies have fared halfway through their first year.

Dax Hill

As the team's first-round pick, Hill has admittedly disappointed through nine weeks. He's played the majority of his snaps on special teams (46 percent), but in his 48 defensive snaps, he's only notched three tackles.

Once touted as Jessie Bates' potential replacement, the hype for Hill has significant dropped, and Hill will need to up his production and efficiency to reach the team's lofty expectations. Grade: B-

Cam Taylor-Britt

The second-round corner out of Nebraska will be put to the test in the coming weeks -- he's only played in Weeks 7-9, and the Bengals still don't know where Taylor-Britt's ceiling is at yet.

Given the small sample size, any conclusions should be taken with a grain of salt. Taylor-Britt has big shoes to fill with Chidobe Awuzie likely out for the season and recently played 100 percent of snaps against the Carolina Panthers in Week 9.

He's made his share of rookie mistakes on the field and definitely needs more fine-tuning at the position, but like we said, his sample size is small. Grade: C+

Zach Carter

Carter, a third-round pick, entered the team as a depth piece but his role has expanded with D.J. Reader's absence these last several weeks.

The rookie defensive tackle looked decent in the nine games he's played in, and so far this season he has taken 238 defensive snaps (42 percent). With 17 tackles and one tackle for loss, Carter is fitting nicely into Lou Anarumo's unit, no doubt aided by the veteran mentorship of Reader and B.J. Hill. Grade: B+

Cordell Volson

Fourth-rounder Cordell Volson has made the biggest impact of all rookies through nine games of the season. In preseason, Volson beat out Jonah Williams for the starting left tackle position, joining a veteran O-line unit with La'el Collins, Ted Karras, and others.

Volson has nonetheless held his own; he has a 55.5 overall PFF grade right now which admittedly stinks, yet there's no question that Volson deserves a starting spot compared to the underperforming Williams. Cincy's offensive line still needs more time to gel, and Volson still needs more time to develop into a reliable long-term piece. Grade: B+

Tycen Anderson

The fifth-round safety hasn't played a single snap in 2022, so it's unfair to grade him. Grade: N/A

Jeff Gunter

The Bengals' final pick of the draft, Jeff Gunter, has developed into a solid special teams player so far this year. The seventh-round defensive end out of Coastal Carolina has played 34 percent of special teams snaps and just three percent of defensive snaps.

Gunter missed two weeks due to injury and hasn't yet recorded a tackle, but he should get plenty of time to hone his skills on specials teams. Grade: B-

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