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2017 NFL mock draft: Cincinnati Bengals select Leonard Fournette

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The Bengals get a big upgrade in their backfield.

NCAA Football: Lambeau Field College Classic-Louisiana State vs Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

With the ninth pick in the Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select running back Leonard Fournette out of LSU. Canadaler is the acting general manager for the Bengals. Below is the rationale for Canadaler’s pick.

“It’s safe to say that the 2016 Bengals were underachievers with their decidedly average stats, 6-9-1 record and third place finish in the AFC North. Their draft needs are significant on both sides of the ball; OL, DE, DT, LB, RB and WR.

Free agency has taken its toll on the offensive line with LT Kevin Zeitler and RG Andrew Whitworth departing. While these are likely Cincinnati’s biggest holes to fill, it’s unfortunately occurring in a draft year severely lacking in first-round talent to fill them.

By the time the Bengals were on the clock Reuben Foster, Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas, Derek Barnett and Jonathan Allen were all off the board. Taco Charlton was considered as he appears to be the type of raw talent and physical specimen coach Marvin Lewis likes to develop. But is he a pick who can provide enough impact for this team to justify the reach to a top 10 pick?

The best player available who also fits a Bengals’ need is Leonard Fournette. He’s the consensus No. 1 running back in the draft and would be an immediate upgrade over both Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds he’s often compared to Adrian Peterson.

Fournette’s a stud; a big, strong, fast, smash-mouth hammer who relies more on power than agility to gain yards. He is powerful enough to run up the gut and fast enough to turn the corner and beat you on the outside. His talents will be important for the Bengals’ run game with an offensive line which may hinder Andy Dalton’s ability to stay upright and make plays with his arm.

As with any rookie, Fournette has his weaknesses, specifically vision and patience through the line. Expect fullback Ryan Hewitt to see more reps to help open up running lanes and provide Fournette with the opportunity to improve Cincinnati’s fortunes in 2017.”

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