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Bengals hosting Leonard Fournette for official pre-draft visit

The Bengals need a new running back. Is Leonard Fournette their guy?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL Drafts approaches, the Bengals continue to make it clear they’re very interested in Leonard Fournette.

According to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell, Fournette is having a pre-draft visit with Cincinnati on Tuesday, just less than three weeks before the draft begins.

The Bengals have shown interest in nearly every big-time running back in this year’s draft, including Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon, Texas’ D’Onta Foreman, Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara and the aforementioned Fournette.

But of that group, Fournette is the only one who appears to be in serious contention for the No. 9 pick. I would go as far as to say I believe Fournette will be the pick if he’s still on the board when the Bengals are on the clock.

However, it’s looking more and more unlikely that he makes it that far. The Jaguars (4), Jets (6) and Panthers (8) all look like viable landing spots for the LSU runner, and it’s hard to see him slipping past Carolina.

Fournette would definitely be off the board by No. 9 if not for an injury-plagued 2016 season. He missed five games and gained ‘only' 843 yards and eight scores on 129 carries.

That came after he was among the best players in college football in 2015, racking up 1,953 yards and 22 scores on 300 carries as a sophomore. Many had Fournette projected as the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 after his sophomore campaign, and he still may end up being a top-five selection, so to get a guy like that at No. 9 would be a massive pickup for Cincinnati’s enigmatic ground game.

With Jeremy Hill in a contract year and Giovani Bernard coming off an ACL tear, Cincinnati badly needs to draft a running back early, and it looks like they want to do so within their first two selections. If they can’t get Fournette at pick No. 9, guys like Mixon, Foreman, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Kamara could be in play for pick 41 in Round 2.

Ideally, the Bengals should get an impact pass-rusher at No. 9 and then the best available running back at No. 41, so long as one of those aforementioned guys is still available.


Which running back would you most like to see the Bengals draft this year?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Leonard Fournette
    (184 votes)
  • 4%
    Dalvin Cook
    (29 votes)
  • 42%
    Joe Mixon
    (268 votes)
  • 4%
    D’Onta Foreman
    (26 votes)
  • 4%
    Alvin Kamara
    (28 votes)
  • 13%
    Christian McCaffrey
    (85 votes)
  • 2%
    (14 votes)
634 votes total Vote Now