Update (4/17/2018): The Bengals used a Top-30 visit on Boston Scott, cementing their interest in the Louisiana Tech running back ahead of the NFL Draft.
The Bengals traveled south to Louisiana Tech to workout the running backs that the school has to offer to the NFL this year.
Boston Scott and Jarred Craft seem to be the typical running back tandem. Scott is the smaller back with the home run hitting capability, while Craft is more of a punishing back. With that said, neither are likely to be selected in this year’s NFL Draft and are likely candidates to be considered in undrafted free agency.
Scott is the more notable player as he ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2017 with a 5.7 yards per carry average and eight rushing touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.
Why would the Bengals be interested in him though? Well he is one of the most elusive running backs in the NCAA, according to Pro Footbal Focus.
Scott’s game is an exciting blend of super quick jump cuts, excellent balance and very strong legs to run through contact. The diminutive Scott may only stand 5-foot-6 but he is a nightmare for defenses in space and can be used effectively in the pass game as well. Scott’s most productive game came against Florida Atlantic when he forced five missed tackles on 19 carries and then forced another three missed tackles as a receiver on five catches. Scott will have value to NFL teams as a player who can create in space.
Scott ranked fourth on PFF’s elusivity ranking by forcing 37 missed tackles on 138 touches. Another name on the list happens to be Josh Adams the running back from Notre Dame. The Bengals also happened to be very interested in Adams during his pro day. It seems the Bengals analytics group have taken an interest in running backs with high elusive ratings.
Scott is a tiny back though at only 5’6”. He would likely only be used sparingly because of that. He also has some experience returning kicks, so he could have added value in that area as well.
As for Craft, he seems to be more of a long shot to make it in the NFL. Craft’s production dropped off in 2017 after a solid 2016 season. In 2016 he ran for more than 1,000 yards with a 5.6 yards per carry average. He also caught 42 passes that year and totaled 13 touchdowns in 2016.
However, all those numbers fell in 2017. He only ran for 532 yards and caught 13 passes. Still, if the Bengals could get more of the 2016 version out of Craft, he could be a nice undrafted find.
It doesn’t seem like either running back has much of a chance at getting drafted, but the Bengals do have three seventh round picks. They could decide to spend one on one of these backs just to make sure they get the first shot at bringing them into camp.