Instant analysis of Bengals picking Daijahn Anthony in the seventh round

The Cincinnati Bengals finally hit on the lacking safety depth in the seventh round of the 2024 NFL draft, scooping up Ole Miss safety Daijahn Anthony.

The first of two picks for the Bengals in the draft’s final round, Anthony’s resume is typical Zac Taylor era Bengals.

In short, the senior had a knack for the football last season, recording eight pass breakups with three picks. And at Liberty the two seasons before that, he actually lined up at corner.

This is the type of production and versatility the Bengals love. The fact Anthony can stand tall in man coverage at either corner or safety will be a boon for Lou Anarumo.’s Lance Zierlein really liked the man-coverage aspect of Johnson’s outlook:

Hard-hitting safety with man cover tools but potential limitations if asked to play on the back end. Anthony is high-cut but with good size and an aggressive field demeanor. He aligned as both a big nickel and a split safety. He’s fairly comfortable handling man coverage duties over the slot and does a nice job of staying connected with routes and disrupting catch tries with timing. He’s fast enough to play over the top from center field, but the instincts are average, and he can be clunky swiveling hips with the changing gaze of the quarterback. He needs to take more consistent angles and do a better job of wrapping up, but Anthony has the talent to become a versatile backup.

Who knows where and how Anthony plays a few years from now considering the Bengals still have former first-rounder Dax Hill floating around at different spots on the depth chart, too.

But adding a versatile defender with enough skills to make the final roster as a rookie is a solid win outside of the top 200. If Johnson can model his game after a veteran like Mike Hilton, he could easily be a massive success story in a few years.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire