According to league sources, North Carolina Tar Heels running back Giovani Bernard visited the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday and had dinner with team officials, giving strength to an already extremely popular theory that they will draft him in the second round. Personally, I liked the idea of Eddie Lacy more until I took a look at this guy and he definitely is an extremely strong option and a talented running back who fights for every extra yard.
Last week, when head coach Marvin Lewis and assistant coach Hue Jackson attended the North Carolina pro day, they were particularly taken with Bernard. This, of course, has been made even more evident from the fact that they had dinner with him in Cincinnati Tuesday. So right from the get go, it really shows you that there is something in this second round prospect that would gel well with the Cincinnati offense.
A Good Fit
Bernard has said that he wants to prove himself to be an every-down back and not just the change-of-pace back that the Bengals will probably draft him for. As a second round pick, I feel that you would be looking for something more than a change-of-pace so there is a great possibility that he will see more than just the odd second and five run here and there. Bernard is fully capable of this also, constantly making sure that he’s moving forward on a fall to gain the extra few yards, he is able to also break high tackles because of his low center of gravity and is also a reliable receiver. These are all talents that would be great for the Bengals offense and quite soon he could be looking at splitting carries with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, an excellent work horse of a player, but does not put up the creative plays that could break for big yards. So soon after, Bernard could become the starter.
In 1o games last season, Bernard managed to put up 2,023 all-purpose yards as well as 19 touchdowns showing the NFL quite clearly why is is so high on the draft and showing the Bengals that he can be used for any task required, including receiving and special teams. There’s a lot more value to this running back than you would notice at first glance and would be a steal at either pick the Bengals have in the second round.
Simon Greene – Cincinnati Bengals Writer. Follow Simon on Twitter @simongreene88