In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals went heavy on the offense. Their top two picks are extremely intriguing and figure to be a big part of their offense this upcoming season, and the team couldn’t be more thrilled.
In the first round, the Bengals chose Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert who was said in some mock drafts to be a top-10 prospect. With their second-round pick, the Bengals selected North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard. As I said, both should leave a major impact on the 2013 season.
Bernard, specifically, presents a lot of upside. The 5th pick in the second round comes into a situation where he will be the backup behind starter Benjarvis Green-Ellis to begin with. Already though, the former Tar Heel is making some noise.
One of the biggest things about Bernard is his versatility. He presents a problem in both aspects of the offense — both the run game and the passing game. In college, he ran the ball well and caught plenty of passes as well. He even returned punts and kickoffs at times. The kid can do anything asked of him.
While he’s not the fastest back, having run a 4.53 in the combine, Bernard has quick feet and makes excellent cuts. With well above average hands, his footwork will be utilized big time in the screen and short passing game. He also has a pretty thick frame, allowing him to shed tackles easier than most. With plenty of vision out of the back field, Bernard really doesn’t have a lot not to like.
Impressing in camp and the preseason so far, Bernard shows flashes of what he could do as the full-time starter. I am going to go on record saying that before the 2013 season is over, I believe Bernard will be the starter in Cincinnati. He has everything you want in an every-down back and tons of work ethic to be the best back he can be. If he can put it all together early on, he may find himself first on the depth chart sooner or later.