The Bengals are serious about the ground game. Another running back has been welcomed to the Queen City. Dalvin Cook could be a new addition.
The Bengals’ running back situation just won’t die. Last season, Jeremy Hill played through injuries and his numbers suffered. For the second straight year, he wasn’t able to duplicate his rookie rushing total. Giovani Bernard is a question mark that will have to be addressed quickly. Recovering from ACL surgery is always an uphill battle. Now, Dalvin Cook has made a visit to the Queen City. Maybe the Bengals are serious about getting the running game back.
Per ESPN, Cook was in town for a visit on Thursday. Last month, the Bengals hosted Joe Mixon from Oklahoma. To add more spice to the soup, Cincy’s coaching staff was in the house for D’Onta Foreman’s pro day at Texas. This may not be a sign that things are going to turn around in the Bengals’ backfield. But, it does make a statement about the club’s disappointment with the effectiveness of the ground game.
Cook is making his rounds. Earlier in the week, he visited the San Francisco 49ers. The 2017 draft class is full of talent at the running back position. The Bengals need to get “up close and personal” with their prospects, before making a commitment later in April.
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There’s no looking beyond what Cook managed to do at Florida State. He was able to amass 4,464 yards rushing in three seasons with the Seminoles. That total helped him break the long-standing record held by Warrick Dunn. Cook is a dual-threat coming out of the backfield. He caught 79 passes for 935 yards.
The Red Flag Syndrome
If the Bengals are truly going to take a chance on Cook, his off-field issues pose another problem. Cincinnati is already dealing with a sticky situation involving Adam Jones. Owner Mike Brown has shown his support of Jones and the Bengals seem to like project players. Vontaze Burfict was considered a gamble but has kept his aggression on the field.
Cook has a few run-ins with the law. Are you amazed? I’m not. In the age of technology, nothing is hidden for long. So, if there are any hesitations about grabbing Cook in the draft, there they are. Cook’s talent could be a game changer for the Bengals. If only those darned red flags weren’t so obvious.
The Bengals’ search for another back to push the status quo could bring a few more candidates to the banks of Cincinnati. Hopefully, this truly signals a new direction for the offense.