Bengals News

Profiling the Backup Running Backs for the Bengals

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TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Running back Mark Walton #1 of the Miami Hurricanes looks for a hole to run through as linebacker Jacob Pugh #16 and defensive back Ermon Lane #7 of the Florida State Seminoles close in during the second half of an NCAA football game at Doak S. Campbell Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Running back Mark Walton #1 of the Miami Hurricanes looks for a hole to run through as linebacker Jacob Pugh #16 and defensive back Ermon Lane #7 of the Florida State Seminoles close in during the second half of an NCAA football game at Doak S. Campbell Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /
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Mark Walton

Walton is a near-lock to make this roster, as he was a fourth round pick of the Bengals this season. Coming out of Miami, Walton profiled very similarly to another Hurricane in Duke Johnson. He’s a dynamic pass catcher who has a thick enough build to work between the tackles. Unfortunately, Walton does not have any recent measurables, since his injury prevented him from working out at the combine.

His college stats are impressive, though, albeit in a limited quantity. After getting decent work as a freshman, Walton went off as a sophomore. He took 209 carries for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns, tacking on 27 catches for 240 yards and another touchdown. In only 5 games his junior year, Walton took 62 total touches for 519 yards and 3 touchdowns. Overall, Walton was an incredibly efficient rusher and receiver who was able to handle lead back duties.

In the pros, Walton won’t be used as heavily. Likely, the Bengals envision using him like Giovani Bernard – a change of pace back who can operate in the open field. Walton didn’t have a great debut, rushing for only 13 yards on 7 carries. Some of his inefficiency was the offensive line’s fault, but Walton didn’t look quite ready yet. In all likelihood, Walton will play sparingly this season if (when) he makes the team as he adjusts to the NFL.

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