Bengals News

Projecting cost of Bengals rookie class

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STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 25: Billy Price #54 of the Ohio State Buckeyes blocks during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 25, 2014 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 25: Billy Price #54 of the Ohio State Buckeyes blocks during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 25, 2014 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Mark Walton 112th overall

2018 CAP Hit: $649,229

Total contract value through 2021: $3.1 million

Running back Mark Walton out of Miami was a surprise to most of Cincinnati in the fourth round. However, he was very high on the Bengals draft board going into day three. Walton suffered an injury during his last season at Miami, or he likely would have been gone in the first two rounds. He also fills a need as the Bengals let go of former running back Jeremy Hill this offseason and need help on returns in special teams.

Walton had an outstanding season in 2016 rushing for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns and adding another 240 yards and a touchdown through the air. He was off to a hot start in 2017 before going down with a season-ending injury. Before the injury, Walton was averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Adding Walton to the running back room bolsters the group and adds another great playmaker to an already talented room.

While Giovani Bernard is set to make $4.25 million in 2018 and Joe Mixon for $1.24 million, Walton adds another player with similar traits at half of the cost of Mixon.  If Bernard or Mixon were to get hurt in the 2018 season, Walton could step in and contribute in the same ways as a second back without much falloff. He will also bring competition in the return game which is an area that Cincinnati lacked last season.

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