Grading every pick the Bengals made in the 2023 NFL Draft
R6: P217 - Brad Robbins, P
This pick was a bonus from trading down in the third round. The first thing most Bengals fans thought when the trade happened was "we are drafting a punter" so this was no surprise.
Aside from the most hilarious Zac Taylor phone call (check it out here), Brad Robbins fills an important need for the Bengals: hang time and lots of it (tops in college football). The Bengals' loss in the AFC Championship game last year started with a low-line drive punt in the most important part of the game.
As a punter, Robbins did not give up a touchback all last year.
Positional fit is easy. The Bengals need a punter and they found a really good one.
Assuming that he punts well in the preseason he will send Drue Chrisman packing and will make an immediate impact in close-field position games. Most people discount the draft grade for a punter, but, in this case for the need and selection, the Bengals got this right.
R7: P246 - DJ Ivey, CB
At this point, it is the seventh round. It is not likely that there is a prospect here that is going to get the fans on their feet.
The tight ends are gone. Running back was addressed in the fifth round. Wide receiver was doubled up. The offensive line is no different than going after UDFA.
The Bengals did what they needed to do and got a fast (4.43 40-time at the Combine), good size (6'1"), and productive CB that can be developed on the practice squad or make the team better on special teams.
Aside from causing confusion with having two DJs, the positional impact will be on the high side a solid special teams player and situational CB, or a player that can be developed on the practice squad for that inevitable corner injury. This was a solid effort in finding someone with some potential at this pick.
Overall this draft was not flashy, not full of weapons, and not geared towards winning at all costs now. That is not the Bengals' style.
It is instead a solid foundational draft that plays off the same strategy that got the Bengals where they are today, on the cusp of hopefully securing their first Super Bowl championship.