Pros and cons of Cincinnati Bengals picking Alabama football's Jordan Battle in 2023 NFL Draft

Chase Goodbread
The Tuscaloosa News

Former Alabama defensive back Jordan Battle was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft with the 95th overall pick.

He projects as a strong safety in the NFL with immediate special-teams value.

Battle (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) was a three-year starter at safety for the Crimson Tide, earning first-team All-SEC and AP third-team All-America honors as a senior. He made 71 tackles, which ranked fourth on the team.

Battle made an initial commitment to play in the Reese's Senior Bowl but withdrew days before the practice week began. He later helped his draft standing when he clocked a 4.55 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, although he didn't perform various other drills. He turned in 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Battle ranked as the No. 72 overall prospect in the draft by Pro Football Focus.

VIDEO:See Jordan Battle's pick-6 against Mississippi State in 2021

The positives

He is a good tackler who can play comfortably in the box, and in coverage he's rarely caught out of position. Battle also brings leadership qualities, making pre-snap calls in the Alabama secondary, and was also one of three permanent team captains for the Crimson Tide, along with Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr.

The concerns

Battle's senior season was lacking in big-play production. He broke up just two passes and notched his lone interception in Alabama's final game, a Sugar Bowl win over Kansas State. Although he shows solid coverage skills, he's not a dynamic playmaker.

Final thought

Scouting opinions varied sharply on Battle's potential. Some saw a future NFL starter with enough coverage skills to make a quick impact on defense, plus provide a core role on special teams. Others saw a future box safety who shows range in the middle of the field but lacks the man-to-man ability sometimes demanded of safeties in receiver-heavy formations.

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