Pigskin’s 2023 NFL Draft Team Grades BENGALS

May 17, 2023

With the meteoric emergence of QB JOE BURROW as their Franchise QB  the BENGALS have emerged as a penthouse dweller, and are actually acting like one most of the time. They still throw nickels around like manhole covers on certain things, but they are willing to pay the price to sustain a winning roster.

And it should also be said that DUKE TOBIN, Director of Player Personnel, and his staff do a solid job in talent evaluation these days. The days of drafting players a Round too early at every Pick, or slipping in “surprise Picks” of dubious pro potential are pretty much over. So who did they Draft this year?


Round 1, Pick  28      MYLES MURPHY    DE/ER    Clemson     6’5/275     PP Rank 17 Some teams like to “work the Draft” trading around to chase certain players they feel will truly fit their scheme. Others usually wait patiently for their Pick to roll around and choose the best from the leftover list. The BENGALS have usually chosen the patient route rather than give up Picks to move up. This year it really paid off for them to be patient. MURPHY is not an Edge Rusher deluxe, but a stable DE with enough athleticism to pressure the pocket. I doubt he will give then double digit Sacks most seasons, but he will get 6-10 on a regular seasonal basis, IMO. He should fit right in as a very valuable rotation piece and potential starter in time.


Round 2, Pick 60    D.J. TURNER     CB    Michigan   5’11/180   PP Rank 70   Not too much higher than my projection, and his speed (4.26/40 @ Combine) is elite. Not huge in Run D support but will stick his body in there as needed. May play in a Sub-package cover role initially but has starter potential. He’s lightweight, but his arm length, at 30 3/4″, is more than acceptable at his overall size. Let’s call him an almost starter for now, with the athleticism to get better.

Round 3, Pick 95    JORDAN BATTLE     S    Alabama    6’1/215     PP Rank 86      A solid all-around S who plays somewhat like a hybrid LB at times. He recorded 71 Tackles last season. He is NOT an elite play maker but is considered to have a high FBI. If time permits, he should serve well in multiple Special Team roles. His 4.55/40-time is more than adequate for roles on coverage and in-the-box play. Nothing fancy here, but by the same token a solid secondary piece on the football chess board. Let’s not forget he is part of the puzzle pieces to rebuild their S slots with both BELL & BATES gone as VFA.

Round 4, Pick 131     CHARLIE JONES    WR    Purdue   6’/185      PP Rank 139     JONES is the guy who languished as one of several under-used wideouts at Iowa, where running the ball and Defense are the game plan for a wining program. He liberated himself as a Grad Transfer and flourished in the PURDUE passing offense under Jeff Brohm. His hands function as though he applied glue to them before each game. His 4.40 playing speed creates separation enough that he caught a D1 leading 110 receptions last year. Look for him to capture the slot targets held last season by IRWIN in Cincinnati.

Round  5, Pick 163    CHASE BROWN     RB   Illinois   5’10/215      PP Rank 107      What a steal here for them! I just luv this kid’s toughness and heart. Has the speed (4.38/40) to get to and around the corner, while playing with power and forward drive. He carried over 300 times last season for the Illini and also caught 27 balls. His 13 total TD indicate a role in the Red Zone backfield. MIXON has some off-files issues, again, and BROWN might be part of a new RB rotation this season.

Round 6, Pick 206     ANDREI IOSIVAS     WR     Princeton     6’3/210     PP Rank    108      Another steal for the Bengals. His drop to Round 6 can only be explained by concerns about his Ivy League competition level. At the Combine he was ranked No. 1 of 46 WR to work out and test. He’s sub-4.40, at 210 lbs., with 8 3/4″ hand size being his only shortcoming. They will likely use him mostly on Special Teams this year, while looking ahead to the likely loss of either BOYD or HIGGINS as VFA because of Salary Cap issues in the next year .

Round 6, Pick 217    BRAD ROBBINS    P    Michigan    6’1/205     PP Rank NA      I did not have him ranked but he was my 3rd best Punting prospect. Not a booming leg but has a solid grasp of situational and directional Punting technique. Is also credited as being a solid holder got Place Kicks. Having played at Michigan he is accustomed to holding and Punting in cold, windy weather. That can come in handy around the NFL come December and January. He will get a chance to beat out Drue Chrisman as they try to find the full-time, long term replacement for Kevin Huber. Good need Pick.

Round 7, Pick 246    D.J. IVEY    CB  Miami (F)    6’1/190      PP Rank NA    Not on my prospect list, but in Round 7 who knows which scout banged the table for him, for a specific reason or two. He has nice size and is shown as having 4.40-speed. He might be a big Special Teams prospect. The rest of their Draft Picks are so solid, that I am not going to ding them for a perhaps questionable 7th Round Pick.


Nice work by the Bengals with a solid combination of quality players, at positions of need, both immediately and for a year or two down the road. I might also add that this team has a good track record of finding a couple of Rookie Free Agents on Day 4 of the Draft. Watch out for such a player in SHAKA HEYWARD/LB/Duke in Training Camp.


Grade:    B        Solid as a rock with Picks, with needs and wants addressed by and large.