Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Bengals Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin stated feel comfortable with the running backs currently on the roster. Tobin singled out Samaje Perine who will have an increased role in 2021 with Giovanni Bernard moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Cincinnati released him.
Joe Mixon returns after playing in just six games in 2020 to resume his role as the starting RB in 2021. Jacques Patrick and Trayveon Williams should have increased roles in 2021. Williams had 26 carries for 155 yards last season and five receptions for 30 yards. Patrick spent the 2020 season on the practice squad.
The Bengals appear unlikely to draft a RB early with needs at wide receiver, throughout the offensive line, edge rusher and linebacker. The first three will likely be the priority for Cincinnati in the NFL Draft next week. A RB could be selected in the middle to late rounds. Tobin seems confident in the RBs on the roster.
Who is available when the Bengals pick in day three seems to be the direction they will take in adding a RB. The later rounds are often more about the best player available than drafting for need. There should be value in the middle to late rounds for Cincinnati to add a RB if they choose to do so.
"“I think we feel good about the guys we have in the barn. I think Samaje’s role is going to grow and I think he earned that last year…I think we’ve got some belief in Trayveon as well. Whether there will be an addition beyond that, we’ll see as we go.”"
Mixon had 428 rushing yards and three TDs and 21 receptions for 138 yards and another TD but averaged only 3.6 yards per carry. As a team, Cincinnati averaged 4.1 YPC in 2020 which was 27th in the NFL. The Bengals finished 24th in rushing yards, 22nd and rushing TDs despite having the 17th most attempts.
Perine had 301 rushing yards and three TDs and 11 receptions for 66 yards. It was a limited sample, but Perine averaged 4.8 YPC. If Perine and Williams can continue performing at the same rate in far bigger roles and Mixon can return to the form he had in 2018 and 201