After trading down eight spots in the second round, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates III with the 54th overall pick.
“I had my mom next to me shaking her leg ready to pee herself,” Bates said from his home in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he was surrounded by a large gathering of 150 family members and friends.
“I thought it was the Bucs at first but they said it was the Bengals and I was like, ‘Oh, yeah. That’s perfect,’” Bates added.
An early entrant in the draft after playing just two seasons at Wake, Bates recorded six interceptions with 15 passes defended. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder also averaged 15.8 yards per punt return.
The Bengals sent the 46th pick and 100th pick to Kansas City for 54th and 78th picks. Cincinnati already own the 77th pick, so they’ll be making back-to-back picks to close out their night in the third round, barring another trade.
It’s the second year in a row they have traded down in the second round. Last year they dropped from 41st to 48th to obtain a fourth-round selection. The Bengals took Joe Mixon at 48 and drafted Josh Malone with the extra fourth-round pick (128th overall).