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2018 NFL Draft: Analyzing Bengals’ selection of Miami running back Mark Walton

The Bengals have drafted Miami running back Mark Walton, but what does that mean for the state of their backfield?

NCAA Football: Toledo at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have already filled their draft with a number of players who can make an instant impact in 2018.

Now, the Bengals have taken a value pick by adding Miami Running back Mark Walton.

Of course, the Bengals drafted Joe Mixon last season, and he appears to be the bell cow running back for the foreseeable future. However, the team did lose Jeremy Hill in free agency. Still, the Bengals will be able to add Walton to the backfield with Mixon and a now healthy Giovani Bernard.

What he brings to the Bengals

Attacking linebackers out of the backfield: Walton made a living creating huge plays in college, and one of the easiest ways for him to do that at the pro level will be for him to get out in space against linebackers. He should be able to expose teams without linebackers with the ability to make them miss.

Quick and explosive: He has the ability to take it to the house on any play, and for a team that is already loaded with playmakers he could get lost in the shuffle as far as the opposing defense is concerned.

Create from nothing: There were a number of times at Miami where he had to create his own yardage because the offensive line failed to do anything. This is always a nice skill to have as a running back even with the Bengals taking strides to improve in that area. There will always be plays where the defense just beats the offensive line.

Understanding the pick

Depth: The Bengals clearly aren’t sold on Brian Hill or Tra Carson as their backup running backs, and with the loss of Jeremy Hill in free agency the team clearly is looking for another back to rotate in there.

Long-term replacement: You may be saying to yourself that he fills a very similar role to Bernard, and you are right. Bernard is a very similar back. Walton is closer to a scat back while Bernard is more balanced, but overall similar players.

It seems the NFL is heading towards more committee type back fields, and the Bengals will have two years of that. However, Bernards contract is up after the 2019 season. Who knows if the Bengals will try to re-sign him at that point. With this pick they have more insurance in that area.

More home-run ability: Last year the Bengals struggled to create chunk plays compared to the rest of the NFL. John Ross was supposed to help in that area, but injuries hurt that. Now Walton could be tasked to use that speed to get those plays that go over 20 yards that have plagued the Bengals.