If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know exactly what “Prime” is. For those who haven’t, Prime is a formula I created that predicts which prospects will more than likely be on the Bengals draft board. Last year, Prime was a huge success. The formula predicted William Jackson III, Tyler Boyd, Andrew Billings, Christian Westerman, & Cody Core. Other players such as Keivare and Alonzo Russell were also Prime matches. Prime will be available for users soon who would like to have access to this information before the draft. Today, I will be sharing the top five Prime RB prospects as of March 23, 2017. RB(P) stands for power running back and RB(S) stands for speed/change of pace running back.
Analysis: Cook comes in the #1 overall RB as of now. Given his size, Cook would fall in line as a small/change of pace running back. Cook is easily one of the most consistent running backs in the 2017 draft class. The Bengals currently have Giovani Bernard fulfilling that role, so Cook may not be in consideration given how much they like Bernard.
Draft Projection: Round 1
Analysis: It’s not a surprise that the Bengals are interested in Joe Mixon. Given his size and skill set, Mixon comes in as the #1 Prime power running back. He fits the mold of what the Bengals look for in their bigger running backs. Character concerns could be in question, but the Bengals have clearly done their due diligence on Mixon to determine their preference.
Draft Projection: Round 1-2
Analysis: Fournette comes in as the second-ranked Prime power running back after Joe Mixon. The Bengals definitely love their LSU running backs, and there is believe that Fournette could be a dynamic runner in the NFL. John Thornton believes Fournette is a once in a generation prospect and would have to be considered by the Bengals if he is still available.
Draft Projection: Top 15
Analysis: Although Hill is a small school running back, the Bengals will love the fact that Hill was a three-year starter at Wyoming. Hill ran for 1,860 yards in 2016 and is described as a downhill runner. Hill is extremely balanced and uses his vision as an asset and has no durability issues. All of these factors could make him a later day pick for the Bengals.
Draft Projection: Round 4-5
Analysis: De’Veon Smith is a sleeper power running back that fits the mold of the Bengals and could be a late-round gem. Smith is a big back with decent vision, but lacks when it comes to acceleration. One of his positive attributes is that he rarely dances at the line of scrimmage and hits the hole. Smith could bring value as a between the tackles runner, but would be nonexistent in the passing game.
Draft Projection: Round 5-7