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Cincinnati Bengals Player Preview: James Wilder Jr.

The backfield in Cincinnati is crowded with experience, talent, and leadership. Will the highly talented Wilder do enough to make it past cut-down day?

Grant Halverson

James Wilder Jr.

Position: Running Back

Hometown: Tampa Florida

College: Florida State

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 232 lbs

Age: 22

NFL Experience: Rookie

James Wilder Jr. arrived in  Cincinnati with expectations of making the final roster. He went undrafted and arrives to a very crowded backfield.  At Florida State, Wilder  was in the same situation with Devonta Freeman (4th-round pick), and Karlos Williams (projected as a top 5-10 RB in 2015) got the bulk of the carries.

Wilder was still able to get his touches and average 7 yards per carry. He had a total of 81 carries, 563 yards, and 8 TDs; not bad for the third guy on the depth chart.  It could be the same situation that we are seeing prove fruitful with James Wright; a good player that just happened to be behind to really good players.

Wilder is a strong back that has been know to get you the tough yards, when he is given the opportunity. His main issue in being a short yardage back is he can tend to run too upright. He also does have some off the field baggage that he brings with him. He was arrested a few times during his time at FSU.

It was mostly minor stuff, but surely something that the Bengals will be keeping there eye on. All indications so far in camp are that he has his head screwed on straight now. The key to him making this team is going to be his ability to contribute on special teams. He has all the tools to play in the NFL; it's just a matter of whether or not he will capitalize on his opportunities this preseason.

Wilder is still a long shot to make this team no matter how it shakes out. His age, talent, and high upside might just sway the staff to keep him. No matter who wins the final running back spot, they aren't going to see much of the field unless someone goes down. He could be an exciting player to look forward to in 2015, if he sticks around.