November 24, 2023

The Bengals prepared for the 2023 season during the first two rounds of the NFL Draft last year.

As an obvious replacement for Jessie Bates, they selected safety Dax Hill, and in the second round, cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt. While both were anticipated to appear in 2022, they weren’t anticipated to play major roles. While Taylor-Britt did, Hill did not.

It could make sense for the Bengals to invest in cornerback once more now that the draft is only three weeks away.

Chidobe Awuzie, Taylor-Britt, and Mike Hilton are the Bengals’ three starting cornerbacks. That seems impressive on paper. In fact, it starts to fall apart a little.

Awuzie just underwent surgery for an ACL tear that he sustained on Halloween versus the Browns. Uncertain of his return status, would 314 days, with a suitable ramp-up phase, be sufficient to restore him to full strength? That’s not known. Can Taylor-Britt become one of the AFC’s best corners? They’ll need to take another step ahead, although he showed potential and really improved over the season.

Sidney Jones has a one-year contract after being acquired in free agency as depth. Awuzie also has one year left on his contract. Even if those two remain healthy, it would be unreasonable to anticipate that their best cornerbacks will play all 17 games each season. It’s okay to have depth, especially at cornerback.
Repeatedly selecting players from the same position in the first and second rounds of the draft typically indicates that there has been an issue on some level, whether it be a misestimation of potential or a dearth of talented players being re-signed. In this instance, selecting a cornerback in the first or second round might indicate that the Bengals are as healthy as ever.

Would an early-round cornerback make sense for the Bengals – AP

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