The red-shirt sophomore at tailback is entering the draft with a weak running back class by his side. If he came out any other year, he probably wouldn’t be in the talks of being a first round pick. Bernard is most likely going to be the top prospect in the draft, and also have a chance to go late in the first round.
Bernard had 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns, he is also arguably the best return-man in the nation, proving himself against NC State with a 73-yard game-winning punt return for a touchdown. With five receiving touchdowns, Bernard shows how versatile he can be as an athlete, averaging 198 all-purpose yards this season.
Bernard is a weapon, but may not be a great running back in the NFL. He has the chance to be more of a scat-back and returner, which is not a bad thing, but that could knock down his value. Running backs like Eddie Lacey, Montee Ball, Marcus Lattimore, and Andre Ellington are more likely to be observed closer than the offensive weapon who is Bernard.
In fact, after the combine, Bernard may be revealed as one of the weaker prospects among the rest of the field. If the choice had to be made of who will be better, Bernard or the players previously listed, the field will be better.