Bengals add to running back depth with Mark Walton

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 29: Mark Walton
DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 29: Mark Walton /

The Cincinnati Bengals add a running back to the depth chart with Miami Mark Walton in the fourth-round of the NFL Draft.

The Cincinnati Bengals add a running back to the roster in the fourth-round with Miami Mark Walton. With former Bengals running back Jeremy Hill leaving for the New England Patriots during free agency, there was a spot to fill on the roster. Walton will be a third-down back that gets limited time.

During his first year as a starter in 2016, Walton ran for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns on 209 carries. He also made receptions out of the backfield with 27 receptions for 240 yards and a touchdown. Walton earned third-team All-ACC honors that season. For his 2017 campaign, he struggled with an injury but rushed 428 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Walton led all returning ACC running backs with 36 missed tackles and 3.4 yards after contact per attempt (minimum 60 carries) in 2016 according to Pro Football Focus. While standing at 5’9″ and 205 pounds, Walton uses his speed and agility to make plays. He added another six missed tackles on his 27 receptions in 2016 which ranked seventh among backs.

He was projected to go in the fourth or fifth round and most were expecting the fifth round. Cincinnati addressing the running back spot surprised most fans as they still have other needs on the board. There are plenty of guys that could still come in and contribute so grabbing a running back in the fourth round means they are high on this kid.

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Cincinnati needed another running back to compliment Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard. Finishing his college career with 1,995 yards and 26 touchdowns on the ground and 56 catches for 624 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. He will fight for the third running back spot in training camp and preseason. Not meant to be a full load back with some durability issues but brings some great traits to the Bengals running backs room.