With the final draft pick for the Cincinnati Bengals for the 2012 NFL draft, the team finally selected a running back -- former Ohio State back Dan "Boom" Herron. Herron was one of the players that was suspended for a portion of the 2011 season, along with Devier Posey, for receiving gifts and selling memorabilia. In his time with the Buckeyes, he ran for 2,872 yards for 32 touchdowns and averaged 4.8 yards per carry.
Herron will have a tough task of carving out a spot in the Bengals roster. The team's primary back is BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the third-down back is Brian Leonard. Herron will have to fight with Bernard Scott and Cedric Peerman for playing time and, in the end, the team will likely choose between Peerman and Herron.
The man they call "Boom" has been a productive and powerful starting back for Ohio State. He is an extremely physical runner for his size and hits the hole hard. He has production and NFL qualities, but not quite starting potential. He started on and off for three years but was implicated in Ohio State's recent NCAA troubles and forced to sit out the first five games of his senior year. He is an effective slasher-type with third- or fourth-round value. He would need to play special teams to make a 53-man roster but has displayed the physicality to do so.
STRENGTHS Herron is quick out of his stance to get the ball and make a decision to hit the hole or get outside. He has good vision once through the hole, but he is better running outside than through the tackles. He can quickly get to top speed and will accelerate throughout the play -- he has deceptive top-end speed. He is secure with the football and a good receiving option out of the backfield. Boom is tough and will stick his face in front of rushing linebackers.
WEAKNESSES Herron has decent ability to run between the tackles. He hasn't run many NFL-type routes out of the backfield in college, where he was used more as a safety outlet. Herron can neutralize blitzes but can get overpowered by men simply bigger than him.
OVERALL FOOTBALL TRAITS
|Production||"2007: Redshirt. 2008: (11/2) - 89-439-4.9-6 2009: (10/4) - 153-600-3.9-7 2010: (13/9) - 216-1,155-5.4-16 2011: (7/7) -- 134-675-5-3 Career (2008-'10) - 44 catches-309-7.0-1. "|
|Height-Weight-Speed||"Below average blend of height, weight and top-end speed. "|
|Durability||Missed 2009 Indiana game with ankle injury. Reinjured ankle early in Wisconsin game then missed Purdue and Minnesota games. Left 2008 Wisconsin game with a concussion then missed Purdue and Michigan State games.|
|Intangibles||Voted a team captain by peers in 2011. Graduated in December of 2011 with a degree in African Studies. Team's Rex Kearn Award (outstanding offensive back) winner in 2010. NCAA suspended him for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling gear and receiving improper benefits from a Columbus tattoo parlor. Ohio State investigating several car purchases to determine whether or not any NCAA rules were violated. Cars that Herron and his father bought are reportedly among those purchases.|
RUNNING BACK SPECIFIC TRAITS
|Competitiveness||North-south runner that displays good determination. Fights for yards after contact and delivers the blow at the end of run. Protects and picks up feet well through traffic. Willing to step up and take on much bigger defenders in pass protection. Smaller hands raise (9 inches) concerns about ball security.|
|Vision/Patience||Does a nice job of setting up and utilizing blocks. Will miss a vertical seam and bounce runs to the outside on occasion. Displays a natural feel for the cutback lane. Instinctive open field runner that shows above-average sense for the flow of the defense.|
|Agility/Acceleration||Quicker than fast. Displays adequate lateral agility and can stick foot in ground and quickly transition with vertical cut. Lacks elite acceleration but hits top-end speed quickly to turn the corner as an outside runner. Shifty and flashes ability to make defenders miss but lacks the ability to consistently create yards on his own that upper echelon running backs possess. Also did not show the extra gear to outrun pursuit and hit the home run.|
|Power/Balance||"Doesn't have the power to consistently push the pile in short yardage situations. However, does a nice job of lowering his pad level upon contact and falls forward at the end of most runs. Base can narrow and balance is just average but strong enough to break would be arm tackles. "|
|Passing Game||Limited experience catching the ball out of the backfield but has upside here. Can extend arms and catch passes above head. Runs adequate route and quick enough to separate from most linebackers. Has experience lining up wide. While struggles to anchor in pass protection he does a nice job of mixing in cut blocks effectively.|