I have to go with Giovani Bernard. The young rookie has entered the NFL scene with a bang, ranking among the most yards gained on the ground by a rookie. He’s brought a change of pace to the Bengals offense and is a viable weapon in the passing game as well. He and Tyler Eifert have helped to bring a three-dimensional feel to the play-calling.
The Bengals clearly got a steal when they drafted Giovani Bernard is the second round (pick no. 37) of the 2013 NFL Draft, as he’s accounted for 627 total yards (361 rushing and 267 receiving) while being on the field less than half of the team’s offensive snaps in six of their nine games.
His latest performance in Thursday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins saw him get nine carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns, including a Barry Sanders-esque run for a 35-yard score, helped earn him a spot on the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week, and they also ranked Gio third in their Race for the Rookie of the Year Award.
He’s exceeded expectations as a rookie, and he’ll be counted on even more going forward now that the offense will have to bear a heavier load with so many losses on the defensive side of the ball.