Round 6, 209th Overall: Reed Blankenship, S, Middle Tennessee
The Cincinnati Bengals were able to tag Jessie Bates, and while they work out a long-term deal for the single-high maestro, it’s easy to see that the depth in the safety room isn’t great behind Bates and Vonn Bell.
Reed Blankenship is a versatile safety. He has the ability to drop down into the box and play pseudo-linebacker. His recognition skills are very good and he’s a reliable tackler. Blankenship also reads the quarterback’s eyes well and possesses the ball skills to attack the catch point and create turnovers. He can be a standout on special teams early before he gets defensive snaps.
Round 7, 226th Overall: Chance Campbell, LB, Mississippi
The Cincinnati Bengals have found their MIKE linebacker in Logan Wilson. However, with Germaine Pratt set to hit free agency in 2023 and the lack of impact from Akeem Davis-Gaither, there’s no reason not to throw a dart at the position later in the draft. Chance Campbell is pretty buried in a deep linebacker class, but his athleticism and movement skills stand out on tape.
Round 7, 252nd Overall: Curtis Brooks, DL, Cincinnati
The duo of B.J. Hill and D.J. Reader is set for at least two more seasons, something the Cincinnati Bengals need on the interior. However, as previously mentioned, getting more pressure on quarterbacks in the AFC will be crucial. Curtis Brooks isn’t the run stopper that Hill and Reader are, but he brings an element of quickness as a gap-attacking three technique.