With the news that the Bengals have reached an agreement with running back Bernard Scott, do you think the Bengals will use a high draft pick on a running back?
Anthony C. Good question. The more I think about it, the more I think that that position takes a back seat to safety, linebacker and maybe even wide receiver. I could see them waiting to the third or fourth round to grab a guy that falls. With so many talented backs this year, there is bound to be a few that go later than expected. I'm almost wondering if the Scott signing means that they're looking at the bigger backs this year (Montee Ball, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Lattimore, Eddie Lacy) in the higher rounds and then potentially grab another speedster later like Mike Gillislee from Florida. We'll see. The Scott signing could mean something significant, or he could be nothing more than a camp body for the offseason workouts that start on Monday and into Training Camp. I'm not quite sure what to make of it quite yet, honestly.
Jason G. I agree. While I like Scott, I doubt his ability to be anything more than a change-of-pace back. I don't think he can carry the load and he's also shown us he has a tough time to staying healthy. I'm not completely convinced that Scott would even make the team, especially if they bring a guy like Giovani Bernard or Jonathan Franklin on board. That running back would serve as Brian Leonard's replacement as well as a complement to Green-Ellis. Scott would likely complete with Cedric Peerman and Boom Herron for a spot on the team and I'm not sure he makes it because of their special teams abilities.
Nick S. I think even if they hadn't re-signed Scott the chances of them drafting a RB in the early rounds weren't great. The NFL is becoming a passing league and I'd be more concerned with protecting our franchise quarterback. Personally, I'd rather them continue to draft defensively, making solid picks on the D-line and filling in the depth issues they have at LB and at S.
Anthony C. I agree, Jason, but isn't the change-of-pace back more of what they need right now? I like Green-Ellis' tough running style, but the position group desperately needs speed and a player who can catch the football. When healthy, Scott is fast and can occasionally catch the football. If he's an insurance policy who really has to work and impress to make the roster this year, I'm for it. If they think that Scott, who is coming off of an ACL tear in his knee is the cure-all to the issues at running back, that's a bet that I wouldn't take. They still need to look at at least one running back in this year's draft, in my opinion.
Jason G. It is what they need, but I'm not convinced that Scott can get the job done. In his one full season as a change-of-pace back in Jay Gruden's offense, he only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. He carried the ball more than ever before but he didn't make much of an impact. The Bengals still only had the 19th-ranked rush offense that year (2011) and they brought in Green-Ellis to fix the problem. I'm not so sure keeping Scott around is the answer.
Nick S. It's a one year deal though. There is still a chance that if they DO draft a RB Scott may not even make the team out of training camp. He is coming off major knee surgery after all, he may not be the same back he was.
Anthony C. I'm not convinced either, but you also have to remember that he was poised to have an even bigger role in 2012 before the offseason hand injury and the subsequent knee injury. The offensive line was much better in 2012 than in 2011, thanks to an improvement from Andre Smith, great play from the rookie Zeitler, and some steady work from Clint Boling. We don't know how much better he would have been behind that improved line because he never really had a chance.
Jason G. That's true. The fact that it's a one-year deal makes it a little easier of a pill to swallow for guys who aren't Scott supporters.
Anthony C. Totally, Nick. At this point, I'm writing it off as an insurance policy and camp body until the talking heads at PBS and/or the Draft tells me differently.
Nick S. Completely agree Anthony. I still think drafting a RB in the first 3 rounds isn't necessary. You can improve this team in other areas first.
Anthony C. So what do you guys think this means for the chances of the team pursuing Ahmad Bradshaw and/or Felix Jones now that Scott is in the fold?
Jason G. I doubt they go after either of them after re-signing Scott.
Nick S. Based on their offseason so far? My guess is those guys won't be signed.
Anthony C. Yeah, I don't think so now, either. If I were to say one of them, I'd go with Bradshaw, given their track record of coveting him and the fact that he's more of a between-the-tackles guy than Scott and/or some of the smaller backs they could go after in the Draft.
Nick S. They are pretty content on BJGE and Peerman showed some flashes last year in a backup roll. We all saw what Herron did on special teams last year. It's possible that all we're really talking about a 4th back at this point.
Anthony C. Yeah, but I hope not, Nick. I'd really like to see them inject some athleticism, speed and pass-catching ability at the position and this draft is loaded for that.