Bit of an injury history with Bernard, who came into Tar Heels camp in 2010 as one of the best backs in the entire country coming out of high school. Tore his ACL and was held out of the following Spring for precautionary reasons, but he came out in Fall practice of 2011 and earned a starting role, and never looked back. Bernard had a dominant RS Freshman season, where he ran for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns averaging over five yards per carry. He is also an exceptional receiver out of the backfield, and he caught 45 passes last year for 362 yards and a touchdown. Bernard has good speed to the edge and great quickness. His quick feet and agility in the open field allow him to make defenders miss. When he hits an open hole, he has excellent burst and is really shifty in the open field. Not really a tough inside runner and has a tendency to bounce plays to the outside instead of sticking to his assigned gap, but that is a result of his natural athletic ability simply training him to make something out of nothing. Has a lot of confidence in himself. Not a powerful back but makes quick decisions when he’s handed the ball. Threat to go the distance any time he touches the ball and had seven games last year when he went over 100 yards rushing. Pretty small back who appears at times to be easy to take down on initial contact. His elusiveness and ability to make players miss, as well as his uncanny ability to catch the ball out of the backfield give him the tools to be a future first round pick, be it in 2013 or 2014. Tons of talent, lots of speed and upside. Could turn into a LeSean McCoy type if he develops right.
NFL Draft Profile: North Carolina Running Back Giovani Bernard Jr.
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