North Carolina will hold it’s Pro Day today, and the most notable prospect the Cincinnati Bengals should have their eyes on is runningback Giovani Bernard. The redshirt sophomore ran for 1228 yards on 184 carries (6.7) and 12 touchdowns, while also catching 47 passes for 490 yards and 5 TDs. He also ranked first in the nation in punt return average, fourth in all-purpose yards, and fifth in scoring.
Needless to say, he’s an explosive playmaker who could make any team better, and the Bengals are in need of a change-of-pace back after they failed to sign one in free agency, and they’ve already met with Bernard today. That man pictured with Bernard is Greg Seamon, who is one of the top Bengals scouts.
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.
Other Tuesday Pro Days
Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, North Carolina Central, Notre Dame, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas