Rookie Profile: How does Devwah Whaley fit with the Bengals?

James Rapien

The Bengals signed 10 college free agents after the draft, including Arkansas running back Devwah Whaley. 

The 22-year-old finished with 1,807 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in four seasons. 

Whaley was one of the top running backs in the country coming out of high school. He was a four-star recruit and a top 70 overall prospect. He was also on the Under Armour All-American team. 

His college career got off to a promising start. Whaley played in all 13 games as a true freshman, rushing for 602 yards on 5.5 yards-per-carry and three touchdowns. He added six receptions for 139 more yards. 

Whaley's freshman numbers were the best of his career. He started 11 games as a sophomore, but he averaged 4.4 yards-per-carry on 127 attempts and finished with 559 rushing yards. He began the 2018 season as a starter, but he only appeared in seven games due to injuries. 

He played in all 12 contests as a senior and finished second on the team in rushing with 278 yards on 69 attempts. 

The Bengals took a chance on Rodney Anderson last year in the sixth-round. He's a guy that has all of the talent you want in a running back, but injuries derailed his college career. 

Whaley's story is a bit different, but he does have talent. Arkansas had turnover on the coaching staff during Whaley's collegiate career. They also struggled as a team. The Razorbacks haven't made a bowl game since 2016 — Whaley's freshman season.

Making the final roster is going to be a tall task for the 5-10, 221 pounder. Whaley is seventh on the unofficial depth chart entering the season. Joe Mixon, Giovani Bernard and Trayveon Williams are all expected to make the final 53-man roster. Samaje Perine, Jacques Patrick and Anderson all have question marks, but they also have experience in the pros. 

Whaley is a talented player, but like most undrafted free agents, he's going to have to earn his keep on special teams. 

A practice squad spot isn't out of the question for Whaley, but it's going to be an uphill battle for the former Razorback. 

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