Charlie Jones named biggest Bengals steal of draft
Charlie Jones in the fourth round was one of the more surprising picks for the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2023 NFL draft — but it’s since been hard to avoid hype for the former Purdue standout.
Jones, who drummed up 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns on 110 catches last year and has explosive tape on special teams returns, has felt like one of the better draft values in the class for the Bengals in hindsight.
Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar would agree, spotlighting Jones for the Bengals when detailing each team’s best draft steal:
The Bengals selected a lot of pure athletes in this class, and Jones was one of them. He was also highly productive for the Boilermakers in 2022, catching 110 passes on 154 targets for 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jones was available with the 131th overall pick in the fourth round, but that shouldn’t minimize his potential to add to an already stacked receiver group with his route awareness and contested-catch ability, as well as vertical juice (12 catches of 20 or more air yards last season for 438 yards and four touchdowns).
As we’ve since detailed, the special attention multiple Bengals personnel paid to Jones during the pre-draft process probably should have given away their intent to pick him.
Either way, Jones has the look of a prospect who can come in and steal a job on special teams returns right away while also serving as the possible long-term replacement for Tyler Boyd after the 2023 season.
If Jones can have the returning impact as a rookie and contribute to the base offense as a sophomore, he’ll certainly qualify as a massive steal in hindsight.
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