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2022 NFL Draft: Bengals Got it Right With Michigan Safety Daxton Hill

Cincinnati took Hill with the 31st overall pick.

CINCINNATI — The Bengals hit a grand slam on Thursday night when they took safety Daxton Hill with the 31st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

At least one professional team in Cincinnati is hitting home runs. 

Hill, 21, is a high-end athlete that can play all over the field. He's a safety that can also lineup at the nickel cornerback spot. He has the range of a Jessie Bates, but is a physical player that can also make big hits in the box. 

Some may wonder how much he'll play alongside Bates and veteran safety Vonn Bell, but the Bengals plan to use him all over the field. Head coach Zac Taylor practically laughed at the idea that Hill would be used primarily on special teams as a rookie. 

"He's done some stuff [on special teams] in the past at Michigan. We'll see where that factors in with Darrin (Simmons)," Taylor said. "We drafted him in the first round to help us on defense first and then we'll see where it fits from there."

Hill was expected to be picked in the top 25. Instead, he joins the reigning AFC Champions in their quest to make it back to the Super Bowl. 

He helped Michigan win the Big Ten last season. They made it to the College Football Playoff. He finished with 69 tackles (4.5 for loss), 11 passes defensed and two interceptions.  

The Bengals are getting a great athlete that excels in coverage and has good ball skills. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo can move him all over the field. 

It may not have been the cornerback people were expecting, but the Bengals' defense got much better on Thursday night. 

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