NFL Draft News: Updates on Star Lotulelei, Giovani Bernard, & T.J. Moe

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Oct 27, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Giovani Bernard (26) returns a punt for the winning touchdown with 13 second to play in the fourth quarter. The Tar Heels defeated the Wolfpack 43-35 at Kenan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina runningback Giovani Bernard is arguably the most dynamic back in this year’s draft class Evan Silva of RotoWorld did an in-depth breakdown of Bernard, and loved what he saw:

Listed at 5-foot-10, 205, Bernard is a compactly-built back who runs with good pad level, staying low to the ground and offering defenders minimal strike zone. His acceleration and speed jumped off the tape. I suspect Bernard will run a forty time in the 4.4s at February’s Combine with a top-notch ten-yard split, which measures short-area burst. He can really run.

Bernard has quick feet and he can make lightning quick cuts. The running back trait that best indicates NFL success is lateral movement — the ability to elude defenders and make them miss while sacrificing little or no forward momentum. Bernard is both laterally and vertically explosive. He has a ton of talent.

Bernard is also skilled in the passing game. I charted him with eight blitz-pickup opportunities in the three games, and he executed successfully on seven. Bernard has smooth hands, is a natural receiver out of the backfield, and looks ready to play in the passing game in the NFL. That’s a huge plus in a passing league. Be it as a timeshare runner or lead back in a committee, I expect Bernard to see the field early in his career.

He also listed the Bengals as one of the four sensible fits for Bernard. Where do I sign up?


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