By now, you know all of the names connected to the Cincinnati Bengals with their first few picks of the draft. What we don't know is which guys will fall where and in what order they will take some of these names. This draft has some of the largest amounts of ambiguity in recent memory, so it's really tough to say who will end up in stripes this year and at what pick. It doesn't help that the Bengals are playing things pretty closely to the vest.
They're in the market for a running back--this much we know. Many of us who analyze the this team feel that more of a complementary/speedier back would be the best bet for this team and there are plenty of those this year. Still, one workhorse back out there could land with the Bengals if they feel his combination of size, speed and power mesh well in the bruising AFC North. That would be Alabama's Eddie Lacy.
And, wouldn't you know it, Peter King from Sports Illustrated has the Bengals taking him at No.21 on Thursday night.
NFL sign of the times: No RBs in the top 20 of the draft. There's a legit chance none go in the first round, but the Bengals love this guy.
Lacy has been an enigma of sorts, leading up to the draft. His stock took a big rise after the National Championship game in January, but he has been nursing some hamstring issues and only worked out once for scouts at his Pro Day. Even that workout was a bit uninspired to many who witnessed it, labeling him as "out of shape" and "gassed" from the workout. Not exactly a shining report card. There are also whispers of Lacy being a tad overrated because he ran behind two offensive linemen slated to be first rounders, as well as arguably the best center in the country last year.
Still, sometimes you just have to look at the tape and not commit "paralysis by over-analysis". There's no doubt that Lacy fits the AFC North profile and could resemble Trent Richardson of Cleveland--Lacy's predecessor at Alabama. He has flashed the ability to catch and has a little wiggle for his size to go with the head-lowering pop that he delivers.
The Bengals will take a running back or two this year. It's just a matter of what type they prefer and where they grab them. If they go Lacy early on, they could opt for one of the speedier backs in the later rounds to add to the group.