Bengals stick with defense through three rounds


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals obviously have a thing for defensive backs from Michigan.

Cincinnati selected Wolverines cornerback DJ Turner II in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night.

Turner reunites with his former college teammate Dax Hill. The Bengals drafted the former Michigan safety with the 31st overall pick a season ago.

“It’s going to be the secondary we had back at Michigan,” Turner said. “I already talked to (Hill) and everything. I can’t wait.”

Turner was a two-time All-Big Ten Conference performer for the Wolverines and had a team-high nine pass breakups last season.

Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor and defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo both noted they like the pro defensive system Michigan runs.

“They do very different coverages,” Anarumo said. “There’s a lot of teams that do it, but they do some things that translate to our league. It plays a small role in the evaluation process. It’s not the only piece, but it helps when you can see them do multiple things.”

The Bengals used the 60th overall pick on a cornerback for the second year in a row. Cincinnati drafted former Nebraska corner Cam Taylor-Britt with the 60th pick last April.

“They’re a little bit different,” Anarumo said of the two corners. “Both fast. Cam’s a little bit bigger of a guy, but both are very, very competitive, both want to win, both have great attitudes about football. They love the game. There are some similarities, but the body types are just a little bit different.”

At 6 feet and 180 pounds, Turner is a bit undersized, but his speed is elite. Turner was the fastest prospect at this year’s scouting combine, running a 4.26 40-yard dash.

Anarumo said Turner’s speed is invaluable in today’s NFL.

“You’re going to have to chase quarterbacks around and cover a little bit longer,” he said. “The faster you are, I think the better chance we have to get off the field.”

The Bengals wrapped up Day 2 by trading back three spots from pick No. 92 to No. 95 and selecting Alabama safety Jordan Battle in the third round.

After completing the trade with the Kansas City Chiefs and adding pick No. 217, the final selection of the sixth round, Cincinnati addressed a need in the back of its secondary after losing both starting safeties Jessie Bates (Atlanta Falcons) and Vonn Bell (Carolina Panthers) in free agency.

Battle was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference player each of the last two seasons for the Crimson Tide.

Battle received the call from the Bengals while playing a game of Uno. He said he’d love to play either strong safety or free safety for Cincinnati.

“I’ll play whatever I can to help the defense,” he said. “Whether that’s sitting in the box, the deep part of the field, in the slot. I just want to show my versatility on the next level. That’s something I didn’t get the chance to do in college.”

Cincinnati took Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy with the 28th overall pick on Thursday.


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