Reviewing the Bengals rookies after 2022's first quarter

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The Cincinnati Bengals drafted six players in the 2022 NFL Draft and picked up a fair amount of undrafted free agents as well. Through four games, we've seen five rookies take the field for Cincinnati with four of them being from this year's draft class.

With the first quarter of the 2022 season in the books, let's take a look at how the rookies have been doing so far. I'm only going to discuss the rookies we've seen play so far.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

Dax Hill (Round 1: Pick 31)

With the second-to-last pick in the first round, the Bengals made sure they added an insurance policy for if/when Jessie Bates leaves next offseason. Dax Hill joined the team out of Michigan and while he looked the part of a starting defensive back in preseason, the Bengals have mostly used him on special teams. He's appeared in 39% of snaps on that side of the ball while only appearing in 5% of defensive snaps.

It's a little frustrating that the Bengals spent a first-round pick on Hill and won't play him on defense because you can only learn by doing something. When Bates is inevitably gone next year, will Hill be able to step in and play well? That's my worry with how Cincinnati is using him so far.

Zach Carter (Round 3: Pick 95)

With their third-round selection, the Bengals added Zach Carter out of Florida to give them some depth on the defensive line. He'll have more of a chance to show what he can do now that D.J. Reader is out for the foreseeable future and his snap counts per game have risen roughly 15% since Reader's injury.

Overall, Carter has played in all four games and has appeared in 28% of defensive snaps and 17% of special teams snaps. He has three tackles in four games.