The Bengals searched for running back depth all weekend, but it took until the final pick to provide it when they took Ohio State running back Dan "Boom" Herron in the sixth round.
A back with the desired grade didn't emerge until Herron at No. 191 as Cincinnati hoped to find its version of the overlooked running back in the mold of Houston's undrafted Arian Foster and Herron's teammate BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
The story of Herron's career derailed along with Ohio State as scandal engulfed the program prior to this senior season. Herron ended up serving a five-game suspension for accepting illegal benefits. Suspensions and turmoil threw off the results of his disappointing, shortened senior campaign.
"It was off," Marvin Lewis said.
Still, the Bengals felt numbers like the 5.4 yards per carry Herron averaged in 2010 on his way to 1,155 yards and 16 touchdowns far outweighed any off-the-field concerns.
"Body of work," retiring director of football operation Jim Lippincott said. "It has to be on tape. That's what's really, really, really important — the most important part is the tape-work."
Actually, the only number that did raise a red flag on Herron was his slow 40 time at the scouting combine (4.66). An improved number at his pro day (unofficial 4.51) helped counter the workout times and focus on the body of work. Which when you are 10th on the all-time rushing list at Ohio State, deserves attention.
"I ran a lot better at pro day," Herron said. "I think it definitely helped me out. I'm sure (the 40) may have had a part in (lasting to the sixth round) but I know God has a plan for me. I'm with Cincinnati now. I'm very thankful to be there."
It's been a while since a Buckeye has been here. In fact, 18 drafts passed since the Bengals selected an Ohio State player when they took defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson No. 1 and fullback Jeff Cothran in the third round. But the drought ended with a Boom in the sixth round Saturday. Now, Herron arrives into a stable filled with Green-Ellis, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard, Cedric Peerman and Aaron Brown seeking a roster spot.
"I'm willing to do whatever the Bengals want me to do," Herron said. "However I can get on the field, that's what I'll do."
It will have to probably be on special teams, where Peerman has a decided edge coming off a season with a second-best 13 tackles.