By MITCH STACY
AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals selected Michigan defensive back Daxton Hill with the 31st pick of the draft on Thursday night.
Picking second to last as the Super Bowl runner-up, the Bengals passed up some other enticing defensive players to get someone they expect to contribute right away in their secondary.
Needing depth at cornerback, the Bengals snagged the speedy, versatile, 6-foot, 191-pound Hill, who mostly played safety but also some slot cornerback at Michigan. Coach Zac Taylor said he could fit in at safety or nickel in the Bengals defense.
Hill was a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2021 in his junior year, starting 14 games with 70 tackles, 4 1/2 for loss, two interceptions and nine pass breakups.
The Bengals were forced to sit and wait after years of being active earlier in the draft. The stakes are not as high this time compared with the early picks in the last two drafts that landed cornerstone stars Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase.
The Bengals, who made a stunning run to their first Super Bowl in 33 years, addressed their offensive line needs through free agency, getting guard/center Ted Karras, right guard Alex Cappa and right tackle La’el Collins.