5 running backs that may interest Bengals in 2022 NFL Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels
Master Teague III (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Master Teague III (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals -Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Jahleel McLaughlin, Youngstown State

  • Height – 5’9″
  • Weight – 175 lbs

If the Bengals are committed to adding more speed to the backfield, they don’t have to look too far. Jaleel McLaughlin was the lead back for the in-state program Youngstown State over the last two years.

Having started his career at Division II Notre Dame College, McLaughlin transferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, he ran for 1,139 yards at an average of 6.5 yards per carry. What jumps off the tape immediately is the pure speed of McLaughlin. Hitting max speeds of over 19mph, he is almost uncatchable when loose.

That said, he is no one-trick pony. Being the primary back in an FCS backfield means McLaughlin has no fear running between the tackles. Despite his limited size, he is happy to attack the box and take on tacklers.

McLaughlin got more opportunities at Notre Dame College on special teams, but his ability to reverse the field on running plays coupled with track speed suggests he would be an effective kick and punt returner.