The Bengals may be in the market for a fourth running back with Cedric Peerman still unsigned.
Peerman has been a significant contributor on special teams during his career with Cincinnati, so replacing him might be something they look to do late in the draft or through undrafted free agents. That may explain their apparent interest in Malcolm Agnew.
The Southern Illinois running back had several NFL scouts watching him at his Pro Day, and the Bengals were one of six teams on hand. Agnew has been a star for the Salukis, rushing for 1,708 yards and 16 scores in 19 games over the past two seasons.
A season-ending ankle injury ended his season after just eight games last year, but he still received a 5.2 grade from NFL.com, which is in the 'NFL backup or special teams potential' tier, ala Cedric Peerman. He actually got a favorable comparison to Chargers running back Brandon Oliver by Lance Zierlein:
NFL COMPARISON Brandon Oliver
BOTTOM LINE Mighty mite runner with a fearless approach to running inside and with the acceleration and foot quickness to threaten defenses to the perimeter. Agnew will have to improve his ball security and show that hes big enough to stand up to NFL defenders, but his toughness and talent as a pass catcher will pair nicely with his acceleration through the line of scrimmage for teams looking for a change-of-pace backup with the ability to interject energy into a drive.
Agnew first made his college football mark at Oregon State, home of Bengals alumni TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson. He played two seasons at OSU and ran for 692 yards and six touchdowns, including 223 yards and three scores in 2011 in his first collegiate game as a true freshman against Sacramento State.