According to league sources, the Bengals will hold a private workout for senior Penn State running back Even Royster, who is a three-time All-Big 10 selection and holds the all time record for Penn State rushing yards with 3,932 yards for 29 touchdowns.
The 5-11, 212 lbs. Virginia native hurt his hamstring before the NFL Combine and ran a disappointing 40-yard dash time of 4.59 but vastly improved during Penn State's pro day by running 4.53. He also has a 34-inch vertical leap and did 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Right now, CBS Sports' draft site has Royster ranked at No. 19 of the 140 or so running backs that have declared for the draft, and have him projected to be a sixth-round pick. They say that the biggest knock on him is that they don't believe that he's fast enough to have a productive career in the NFL.
Cedric Benson, who finished his sixth year of playing in the NFL in 2010, is an unrestricted free agent, and while the Bengals say that they are attempting to re-sign Benson, they can't do so until a new CBA is reached. If they Bengals brass decides not to bring Benson back for a fourth year, they will need to draft a running back that has the durability to carry the ball between the tackles in the tough AFC North division. The only running back currently on the roster for 2011 is Bernard Scott, and he hasn't shown that he has what it takes to be a feature back.
The only other running backs that the Bengals could have in 2011 are Brian Leonard, a restricted free agent, and Cedric Peerman, an exclusive rights free agent.