Bengals don’t fare well in NFL.com’s rookie class grades
The Cincinnati Bengals took a future-minded approach to the 2022 NFL draft, addressing long-term needs instead of seeking out immediate production.
That’s the ideal path for any contender, though it’s one that, when things go well, tends to result in the draft class not faring too well when it comes to immediate grades.
So it goes for the Bengals in new 2022 NFL rookie grades from NFL.com’s Nick Shook, who assigns the whole Cincinnati draft class a C+:
“Taylor-Britt was thrown into the lineup following Chidobe Awuzie’s season-ending injury, and while he endured some typical rookie struggles (reflected in his defensive grade of 56.1 from PFF), Taylor-Britt also improved down the stretch. Carter’s campaign doesn’t look great when viewed as a whole, but he finished on a notably strong note, filling a rotational role as Cincinnati’s third defensive tackle in a unit that thrived against the run (see: Week 18 and Super Wild Card Weekend against Baltimore). He provides depth and gave Bengals fans reason to be excited about his future. Volson started in every game, initially filling the left guard spot out of necessity, then proving he was worthy of the job. Volson had some early bumps in the road but ended up improving in the second half of the season, named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the team’s site. If he can continue to improve, the Bengals will have one less offensive line position to worry about going forward. “
While the overall grade stings, the writeup nails it as far as Cincinnati’s long-term outlook.
Dax Hill is the likely replacement for Jessie Bates and got better the more he saw the field. Cam Taylor-Britt started slow but by the end of the season looked like he’ll be a no-brainer of a starter next season. Zach Carter improved and provided a nice pass-rush, while Cordell Volson won the starting job at guard. The team could always look to upgrade, but he’s at least a serviceable starter right out of the gates.
The real test for this draft class was always going to be how it graded three years or so from now. While a C+ now seems harsh, if it gradually turns into an A or in that same zip code, it will go down as a resounding success.
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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire