The Cincinnati Bengals are adding Texas A&M Aggies running back Tra Carson as an undrafted free agent.
NFL Draft Diamonds reported the story first on Twitter:
Tra Carson Texas A&M Running back Signing with Bengals— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) April 30, 2016
The 5'11", 211-pound Carson ran for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns on 242 carries (4.8 avg) this past season as a senior. He also chipped in 29 catches for 183 yards and one score.
As a junior in 2014, Carson earned Offensive MVP honors in the AutoZone LibertyBowl after gaining 133 rushing yards on 25 rushes in the Aggies' win over West Virginia. Carson finished that year with a team-high 581 rushing yards to go with five scores on a team-high 124 carries.
SOURCES TELL US "Really tough guy. I know coaches on that staff who like the person as much as the player. You know he's ready to challenge your guys on every carry, but he's not the kind of runner who you fear if that makes sense." -- SEC West coach
NFL COMPARISON Tim Hightower
BOTTOM LINE Carson doesn't possess the skill level necessary to be a starter or even part of a combination of backs to lead the charge for a team, but his toughness and ability to grind it out in short yardage gives him some value. With his hands and blocking, Carson has immediate third down potential and his ability to shine on special teams only strengthens his chance to be drafted and make a 53-man roster.
As talented as Carson is, it's going to be hard for him to earn a roster spot with the likes of Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, Rex Burkhead or even special teams ace Cedric Peerman still here. Carson's only hope of making it onto the 53-man roster is if one of those guys gets hurt or Burkhead moves to wide receiver full time.