Grading every pick the Bengals made in the 2023 NFL Draft
R3: P95 - Jordan Battle, S
This pick had the most consternation for the fans. With Darnell Washington sitting there and most of the faithful not knowing about potential knee issues the Bengals traded down from 92 to 95. They received an extra sixth-rounder, which would allow them to address the need at punter.
Pittsburgh immediately scooped up Washington, which will surely fire up talk radio every time he catches a ball against the Bengals.
The Bengals are a team with few needs, however, fans were pretty certain that safety wasn't one of them. Having signed Nick Scott and drafting Dax Hill and Tycen Anderson last year most thought the position was addressed. What they didn't know is that the Bengals fell in love with Jordan Battle's "A+" personality, his instincts, and athleticism.
"When it comes to overall coverage grade over the last two seasons, no player scored higher or saw more of a workload than Alabama’s Jordan Battle, who was deployed more as a deep safety this past season after being used a bit more in the box and slot in previous seasons. However, the shift didn’t affect his grades, as he earned an overall grade and coverage grade above 80.0 in each of the last three seasons."- Jonathon Macri, PFF
Original article can be found here.
The fit is not obvious. He will make a difference immediately on special teams and potentially will fit into the coverage role that Tre Flowers had last year allowing Lou Anurumo to have three safeties on the field.
The Bengals stick to their board and get their red star prospect, but, lose out on RB Roschon Johnson and DT Adetomiwa Adebawore by doing so.