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Cedric Benson's days as a Bengal appear to be over, which makes running back a position of need for Cincinnati on draft day.
Back-up RB Bernard Scott figures to see his role increase next season, but he isn't really an every-down, feature-back in the NFL.
Cincinnati has two first-round picks in this year's draft––their own: No. 21, in addition to the No. 17, which they acquired from Oakland in exchange for Carson Palmer at the trade deadline.
Though adding a running back figures to be a top priority in the draft, selecting one in the first round isn't necessarily a given, despite having two picks. There figures to be talented running backs available on day two of the draft, but if Cincy were to look to bolster their backfield with one of their first-round picks, here is who would likely get the call:
Trent Richardson, Alabama
Even the most optimistic Bengals fan would tell you the chances of Richardson being available when the team selects 17th are extremely remote, but the possibility of trading up to select the former Alabama running back exists.
Richardson could cement his status inside the top 10 with an impressive showing at the combine, which would mean the Bengals may have to deal both of their first-round picks in order to secure his rights. This scenario doesn't seem likely at the moment, but if management becomes enamored with the difference-making back between now and draft day, they could decide he is worth the high price.
Lamar Miller, Miami
Miller is an explosive back whose stock may rise during the combine. He is the playmaking running back that Cincinnati currently doesn't have on their roster, which makes his name easy to link to the Bengals.
If Cincy goes RB in round one, Miller would be a great choice. It's possible he could be taken earlier (possibly by the Jets at No. 16), but his performance at the combine will likely determine if he is a mid-first round player or if he falls to the end of the round.
David Wilson, Virginia Tech
Wilson is similar to Miller in size, speed and style of running, though Miller is widely-viewed as a superior player. Just like everyone else, Wilson's ultimate landing spot will be determined by pre-draft workouts and measurables, but at this point, he wouldn't appear to be an ideal first-round pick by Cincy.
Chris Polk, Washington
If the Bengals decide to go with a big, bruising running back to replace Cedric Benson, Polk could be the selection.
Polk is nearly identical in size to Benson, at 5'11" and 222 pounds, though he is more explosive at this point in his career and is a better receiver. His name is one to keep an eye on as the draft nears.