Bengals, Round 2. Was a redshirt sophomore. He went a little earlier than I thought he would (Round 3). But I thought he would slide because of character concerns. Character concerns are no concern of the Bengals, as they usually show in the draft. His combination of huge size and surprising speed and agility made him one of the best running back prospects in the draft, and if he gets his head together, he has a chance to be scary.
Positives: Great height and bulk for a running back, and with enough size to be a fullback or an H-back. Great hand size. Runs with above-average speed, but great for his size. Good power, and consistently churns well through contact for extra yards. Protects the ball well through the line. Runs with good body lean and balance in short-yardage situations, and keeps his balance well after contact. Usually falls forward for extra yards. Is patient behind the line, and has above-average vision for cutbacks and a nice jump cut and lateral movement. Is agile in the open field. Adequate upper body strength.
Negatives: Below-average hands and concentration, and often turns upfield before securing the ball. Though he has good body lean in short-yardage, he runs upright through the line at other times, exposing himself to contact. Shows below-average balance making cuts in wet conditions. Below-average pass blocker who lunges and gets knocked off his feet. As a sophomore with only 23 college games, he is inexperienced. Heavy character concerns. He sat out the 2011 season after an arrest for statutory rape. Also arrested for battery in spring 2013 and suspended indefinitely by team, but was reinstated with a one-game suspension.
Projection: Should be the immediate starter on the team, with Bernard taking up the slack, and is worth a high-first-round pick in fantasy rookie drafts. Consider him an immediate RB2 with RB1 upside.