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Scouting Alvin Kamara: Shifty with small sample size

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Can Kamara be the complementary running back the Bengals need? We take a look at the film to identify his strengths and weaknesses.

A talented runner who was never featured in college

The concept of a three-down running back is so rare in today’s NFL. With the ever increasing value placed upon specialization, the concept of a running back who stays on the field for all three downs is very rare. There probably are only about five true three-down running backs in the NFL right now, including players such as David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, and Le’Veon Bell. However, that is not the only way to have a good backfield in today’s NFL. Some teams deploy a thunder and lightning combo like the Bengals tried to create with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. However, that no longer is working out as Hill has struggled mightily during the past two seasons. On top of that, he’s also approaching the last year of his rookie deal.

It may be smart for the Bengals to change their top duo and add a rookie into the mix. With that in mind, I believe it may be interesting for the Bengals to create an Atlanta Falcons like backfield with two running backs who are equally good pass catches as they are runners. So, let’s take a look at Alvin Kamara of Tennessee, a running back projected to be selected in Round 2, who could be a great fit for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Position: Running back

School: Tennessee

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 214 pounds

Arm Length: 32 3/4”

Hand Size: 9 1/4”

40-yard dash: 4.56 seconds

Vertical jump: 39 1/2”

Broad Jump: 131”

Bench Press: 15 reps

2015 stats: 698 rushing yards on 107 attempts (6.5 yard per carry average), 7 touchdowns. 291 receiving yards on 34 catches, 3 touchdowns. 8 punt returns for 100 yards (12.5 yard per return average), 1 touchdown.

2016 stats: 596 rushing yards on 103 attempts (5.8 yard per carry average), 9 touchdowns. 392 receiving yards on 40 catches, 4 touchdowns. 18 returns for 184 yards (10.2 yard per punt average), 1 kick return for 16 yards.

The Bengals could add another dynamic running back and pass catcher to the offense by selecting Kamara and with his minimal usage in college, he comes with a small amount of wear on his tires. That’s especially true when compared to other players coming out of college. Of course, there is the flip side of that coin where we don’t know how he will hold up with a larger workload. There are few players who are more projection-based in the 2017 NFL Draft class than Alvin Kamara, but he has loads of potential and what little tape we have is positive. If Joe Mixon is not available at pick 41 and Kamara is, I strongly believe the Bengals will consider him.