The Bengals signed running back Cedric Peerman off waivers from Detroit today. Cincinnati is the third AFC North stop for Peerman according to Geoff Hobson. He was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round (185th overall) in the 2009 draft but was cut before the season started. He was then picked up by Cleveland but was waived to make room for other players. After a short stint on the Browns practice squad, he was released and picked up by another quality team... the Detroit Lions where he was a member of the practice squad. When Detroit running back Kevin Smith was hurt, Peerman stepped up and was added to the active roster but didn't see any playing time.
Because of his lack of NFL stats (his only stats are 14 rushes for 40 yards in the 2009 preseason) the only thing to go off of are his college numbers. Peerman played four years for the Virginia Cavaliers (2005-2008) where he totaled 1,749 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was also the Cavaliers' kick returner, racking up 1,256 return yards. Peerman's most impressive stat, or lack of a stat, is the fact that he had zero fumbles all throughout his college career except for one in the Senior Bowl.
Peerman's scouting report from the 2009 combine says:
While Virginia struggled as a team running the ball in 2008, Peerman's tough, low center of gravity style makes him a valued commodity. The honorable mention All-ACC pick rushed for 774 yards and seven scores while catching 44 passes (for only 193 yards, 4.4 per reception) as a senior.
Peerman's biggest contribution as a young NFL player might be on kickoff returns, where he averaged 26.5 yards on 40 attempts in 2005-06 before his touches there were limited by coaches wanting him healthy on offense (and by teams kicking away from him). Peerman was one of the more impressive running backs at the Senior Bowl at times, but a fumble in the game may have confirmed scouts' worst fears. Had an arm span of 31 inches and a hand span of 8 inches at the combine.
NBC Sports writer Michael David Smith wrote about the Bengals signing Peerman:
Because he was in the league but never on an active gameday roster in 2009, Peerman will technically be considered a first-year player in 2010.
I don't think this is the running back the Bengals may be looking for to back Benson up if he goes down or not. To me, this looks like a move to spur some competition in the backfield and a little competition never hurt anybody.