The Cincinnati Bengals have the 31st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. With their three top needs for that year, what is one player they should select?
The “bengals draft picks 2022” is a question about the 3 best players that the Bengals can select with the 31st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Despite losing in Super Bowl 56 to the Los Angeles Rams, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals overcame the odds last season. They managed to finish the regular season as the top team in the AFC North division before advancing to the playoffs with a captivating postseason run that saw them beat the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals’ unexpected success in the 2021 NFL season has raised expectations this time around, and they still have voids on the roster that they can fill via free agency – and the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Bengals got it right in the first round of last season’s NFL Draft, as they used their fifth-overall pick ticket to get Ja’Marr Chase of the LSU Tigers. Chase turned out to be an instant star and an immediate important piece that helped enable the Bengals to raise the ceiling of their potent offense. The Bengals will have to wait just a little bit longer for their turn in the first round this season, as they hold the 31st overall selection. During that phase of the draft, there is still enough of talent to go around. With that in mind, here are three names on whom the Bengals may consider using their first-round choice, as they aim to acquire another great player who can contribute right away.
The top three players for the Bengals’ 31st selection in the NFL Draft in 2022
The Bengals’ pass defense is still a work in progress. The Bengals allowed an average of 248.7 passing yards per game in 2021. Opposing teams preferred to throw against the Bengals that season, with passing players being used 62.81 percent of the time. That was amplified in the Super Bowl game against the Rams, when Los Angeles wide receiver Cooper Kupp caught eight of ten targets for over 100 yards and two scores. Granted, Kupp was fantastic in 2021, but the Bengals’ cornerback room, which includes Eli Apple and Mike Hilton, didn’t seem to have much chance of containing him.
The Bengals have standouts in Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie, but Apple can be enhanced even after being re-signed by Cincy at a modest cost. At this stage in his career, Apple is just a depth player who is seen as a catastrophe waiting to happen downfield. It’s a terrific time to look for a cornerback who can quickly grow into a starter and ultimately take Apple’s spot. Pitre may be on his way out of the Baylor Bears program. Pitre is an interesting prospect with excellent size (6’0″) and flexibility, allowing the Bengals to employ him in a variety of situations. NFL scouts have taken notice of his man-covering ability, as well as his successful and aggressive vertical ball pursuit technique.
As of this writing, there is no word on whether veteran defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi will return to the Bengals. Even if he returns to Cincinnati with a new contract this summer, the reigning AFC champs would benefit from choosing a defensive lineman. And Wyatt may be more than Ogunjobi’s insurance policy for the Bengals.
He has the skills to be a big-name player and plays like the Energizer Rabbit on the field, only he’s a 304-pound bunny who also happens to stand 6’3″ and possesses extraordinary agility for a man his size. In the trenches, he is a mobile operator who can quickly move from one direction to another. Wyatt, who is 24 years old, has an NFL-ready physique and maturity, which is ideal for a rookie joining a club coming off of a Super Bowl participation.
Logan Hall is a college in Logan, Ohio.
Hall will almost certainly be available until late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, so the Bengals should keep an eye on him. Hall already possesses outstanding size and raw power, standing 6’6″ with a frame that weighs over 290 pounds and capable of mowing down or throwing opposing offensive lineman off balance on initial contact. Due of that combo, he was able to command double teams in college and has even been witnessed with opponents attempting to triple team him. Although the NFL is a whole different beast, Hall seems to have the foundation and the potential to become a force in the league in the future.
His height has a detrimental influence on his technique, but this may be remedied with improved coaching and assistance from more experienced colleagues. Hall was a good run blocker in college and is quick enough to catch quarterbacks off guard with his unexpected appearance in the backfield. The Bengals were eighth in the league in running yards allowed per game in 2021, but that’s mainly because, as previously said, opponents prefer to throw the ball more against them. That’s bolstered by the fact that Cincinnati ranks 17th in the league with 4.4 yards per rush allowed that season. Hall can help the Bengals’ pass rush stay strong while also improving the run-stopping unit’s performance.
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