Stripe Hype Roundtable: The future of the Bengals’ Backfield

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Jerod Livengood
I do think Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis has done enough the past few weeks to keep his job as the featured back. Green-Ellis is no Pro Bowler, but the Bengals weren’t expecting that. He has put those odd fumble difficulties from earlier in the season behind him, and the past three weeks show he is improving as he becomes more and more familiar with Cincinnati’s system and offensive line. The Bengals line is good enough to the point where the team needs somebody serviceable (like Green-Ellis) rather that wasting precious money or high draft picks in the upcoming offseason. Joseph Randle from Oklahoma State could be somebody the Bengals could possibly nab in the third round.

 

Jason Marcum

Right now, Ellis is surpassing everyone’s expectations, and he has certainly earned the right to be the Bengals #1 runninback going forward. However, in today’s NFL, you need a very solid #2 who will challenge the starter. What if Ellis had gone down at any point with a significant injury?We would have been left with Cedric Peerman and Brian Leonard to carry the load, which would have been a pretty significant dropoff and would have certainly prevented the Bengals from ever going on a 4-game winning-streak.

They have to draft or sign a runningback this offseason. Here are some of the free agents this offseason:

Tashard Choice – BUF
Felix Jones – DAL
Peyton Hillis – KC
Reggie Bush – MIA
Danny Woodhead – NE
Chris Ivory – NO – (RFA)
Shonn Greene – NYJ
Jonathan Dwyer – PIT – (RFA)
Isaac Redman – PIT – (RFA)
Rashard Mendenhall – PIT
Brandon Jacobs – SF
Steven Jackson – STL
LeGarrette Blount – TB – (RFA)

I see a lot of injury-prone backs, or guys that are on their last legs and will warrant only 1-2 year deal. If the Bengals feel they are ready for a Super Bowl run  next year, go for it. Otherwise, the draft will be the best option. My pick here would be Giovanni Bernard out of North Carolina. He’s a faster back than BJGE, and is a great return man, whether it be on kickoffs or punts. Anything to take the ball out of Brandon Tate’s hands is a plus.

 

 

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