While we run through our Roster Lock series to predict the 53-man roster, it's important to note that the first series of posts will have a certain amount of obviousness to them because we're only pointing out what you already know. Saying that Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski are going to make the squad is a foregone conclusion whereas the third quarterback on the roster isn't. Sure we could make an uninformed and subjective prediction on it, but that's not the point of our lock selections. And while we weigh our locked predictions, we also have to factor the positions we're looking at, asking how many players, at a certain position, have the Bengals historically taken -- at least in the past five seasons.
For running back the Bengals have historically four or five combined backs, if we consider combining running backs and fullbacks (somewhat similar to combining outside and inside linebackers). With Jay Gruden's overall tone to focus on establishing the running game this year, there's a good chance Cincinnati takes five again this year, factoring fullback Chris Pressley into the mix (who is about as close to a lock without actually declaring him a lock).
We're fairly certain about Cedric Benson as the team's feature back and Brian Leonard as the third-down back. We're not exactly certain about Bernard Scott, whose lack of durability surfaced once again during Training Camp, losing over two weeks of practice already. Should Scott be a lock? Realistically, he probably is. The only way he doesn't make the roster is based on injury or overwhelming concern about the prospects of injury; reliability and dependability could weigh against Scott in the long-run. Truth be told unless someone plays out of their mind, giving coaches confidence that Scott could be replaced by another (which isn't really happening right now), Scott is a roster lock. Additionally the legal issues that Cedric Benson is facing would favor Scott's placement, giving the team some room for insurance if it comes to it. You can probably mark this down as: Josh is thinking way too much about it.
Running Back (3): Cedric Benson, Brian Leonard, Bernard Scott
Now if the Bengals take five backs, with one being a fullback, it leaves the door open for the final spot between Cedric Peerman, seventh round pick Jay Finley and undrafted free agents John Griffin and Jonathan Williams.