The Bengals signed three draft picks, including second-round S Jessie Bates, fourth-round HB Mark Walton and fifth-round CB Darius Phillips.
In two years (2016-17) of action at Wake Forest, Bates (6-1, 200) totaled 179 tackles, including 9.5 for losses, with six INTs, nine pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He also served as a punt returner for the Demon Deacons, averaging 9.0 yards on 26 career returns, with one TD.
Walton (5-10, 202) played three seasons (2015-17) at Miami, and in 30 career games totaled 2930 total yards and 28 TDs — 26 rushing and two receiving. Although an injury limited his 2017 campaign to just four games, he still managed 428 rushing yards on 56 carries (7.6) and three rushing TDs.
Phillips (5-10, 193) was a three-time all-conference selection on defense in four seasons (2014-17) of action at Western Michigan, but he perhaps was best known for his impact on special teams. He finished his career ranked sixth in FBS history in kickoff return yards, with 3,145, and had four career kickoff returns of at least 100 yards. He scored 14 career TDs in five different ways — five KR, one PR, five INT, one FR and two receiving.
Of the Bengals' 11 draft picks, just four remained unsigned, including C Billy Price (first round; Ohio State), DE Sam Hubbard (third round; Ohio State), LB Malik Jefferson (third round; Texas) and WR Auden Tate (seventh round; Florida State).