5 running backs that may interest Bengals in 2022 NFL Draft

Master Teague III (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Master Teague III (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Trestan Ebner (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Trestan Ebner, Baylor

  • Height – 5’11”
  • Weight – 215 lbs

Trestan Ebner was the lightning to Abram Smith’s thunder in the Baylor Bears’ backfield last year. The two combined for over 2,400 yards rushing as they led the Bears to the Big 12 title. Ebner’s role contained a bit of everything — a speedy runner, a strong pass catcher, and even a willing blocker.

Ebner isn’t a diminutive speedster; his size means he is smooth and long striding. He shows excellent lateral agility and would make sense as a third-down back to begin his NFL career.

For the Bengals, a back with over 1,500 career receiving yards and a history of kick returning could pique their interest on Day 3 of the draft. Ebner averages 24.7 yards on kick returns, and his electric, breakaway speed would suggest he would be suited to that role at the next level.

Master Teague III, Ohio State

  • Height – 5’11”
  • Weight – 226 lbs

There are few college backfields tougher to crack than the Ohio State Buckeyes. Master Teague never really solidified his spot as the lead back in Columbus. He first burst on the scene, backing up J.K. Dobbins in 2019, and had things played out, he could have got the first crack at RB1 the season after.

However, an Achilles injury in spring practice was a substantial setback. The COVID delayed start allowed him to return without missing time, but he split carries with Trey Sermon, who had an explosive end to the year.

Teague was keen to expand his role and become a more rounded back, but his calling card is brute force and downhill running. He would likely cost the most draft capital of the five backs we have looked at but would also represent the closest thing to an immediate replacement to Perine.

Teague is an option if the Bengals are serious about moving away from Perine and saving a bit of cap room. It is questionable whether they value him as an early Day 3 pick when the running back room is stacked.