The Bengals had just six picks in this year’s draft and with a Joe Burrow-led offense that got them to the Super Bowl, they concentrated on defense.
Their first-round pick, at No. 31, was Michigan safety Daxton Hill, a defensive back who can also play corner. He might spend his rookie season picking Jessie Bates’ brain and playing only on passing downs, but there are few better brains to pick among secondary players — and the Bengals scheme requires smart, versatile secondary players.
Hill is 6 feet tall and weighs 191 pounds. His arms are 32¼ inches. At the NFL Combine he ran a 4.38 second 40-yard dash and showed his ups with a 33½ inch vertical leap. NFL.com liked his speed and explosiveness and predicted he “will eventually be a plus starter.”
The Bengals have drafted safeties in the first round six other times since 1993, all with picks higher than 31. Only Johnathan Joseph, taken with the 24th pick in 2006, ever made it to a Pro Bowl. Admittedly, the Bengals were bad for a long time and didn’t pick too many future Pro Bowlers at any point in any draft.
There is no legal Ohio sports betting at this time, but state law requires sports betting to launch by Jan. 1, 2023.
Bengals History with Safeties in First Round
Who the Bengals Picked in the 2022 NFL Draft
- Round 1 (31st overall): Daxton Hill (Michigan S)
- Round 2 (60th overall): Cam Taylor-Britt (Nebraska DB)
- Round 3 (95th overall): Zachary Carter (Florida DT)
- Round 4 (136th overall): Cordell Volson (North Dakota State G)
- Round 5 (166th overall): Tycen Anderson (Toledo S)
- Round 7 (252nd overall): Jeffrey Gunter (Coastal Carolina DE)
The Bengals added six players overall in the seven-round 2022 draft, with five on defense, including three defensive backs.
The subtext of the Bengals draft of safeties is that the contracts of their present safeties expire after this coming season and they’re going to most likely test free agency. If the Bengals want to keep Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, they’re probably not going to want to shell out mega-bucks to defensive backs.
NFL 2022 Super Bowl, Conference Title and Division Title Odds
Bengals Not Among Top 10 in Super Bowl LVII Odds
Considering the Bengals made it to the Super Bowl this past season and only lost by a field goal, oddsmakers are not showing them much love. At +1800, there are 10 teams ahead of them to the win the big game, including the AFC North Cleveland Browns at +1700, according to DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio.
The Bengals at +1100 are tied with the Ravens to win the AFC, behind the Bills, Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos and Browns in NFL betting. Cincy is +200 to win a tightly contested AFC North. Their over/under for wins is 10 and they’re -135 to make the playoffs and +110 to miss them.
Last year, fans and NFL bettors were waiting for the Bengals to prove themselves, and even after they did, oddsmakers believe they’re for real, but not for real for real.