Sep 29, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Giovani Bernard (26) carries the ball against the Idaho Vandals in the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals: 2nd Round A.
The Cincinnati Bengals seemed poised to take a RB, and they did with Giovani Bernard. Bernard is an extremely explosive player in the running, passing, and return game. He led his conference in TDs and the nation as a punt returner. Bernard fits extremely well in a west coast offense, and he is a very agile RB. He can make people miss and he always tries to reach the next level no matter what. The biggest worry many people had with him is that he already had a torn ACL, but with a 6.7 YPC average last year, the Bengals didn’t seem to mind that too much. Bernard’s biggest knock may be durability, but there is no denial that he is an extremely talented player. He not only fills the role as a RB, but also as a returner because of how dangerous he is. He owns great vision, patience, and hits holes with a great burst. The Bengals drafted a very talented player here, and this takes a little pressure off of Andy Dalton.
Many people thought the Bengals would take a LB or S here, but they surprised a lot of people by drafting Margus Hunt. Hunt is a 6-8, 277 lbs. freak of nature. He has a great bull rush and a very big explosion of the line of scrimmage. He has very good closing speed on the QB and has long arms and strides that can allow him to have good leverage on O-lineman. He has two pretty big knocks on him, however. One is that he is going to be 26 soon, and the other is that he is extremely raw. He will have a chance to sit back and learn from Zimmer, but expect Hunt to start on STs. In college, he had 17 blocked field goals, so Hunt will be lining up on field goal blocks. The Bengals saw something special in him, and they might have been looking to the future in case they don’t sign Michael Johnson or Carlos Dunlap to long-term deals. Hunt isn’t going to start on defense, but he will have time to learn under Mike Zimmer.
The Bengals needed a safety to start opposite of Reggie Nelson, so the Bengals went with Shawn Williams. It is a need, however, Williams may struggle a bit in the NFL. He can cover, but he struggles against aggressive receivers blocking him and even O-lineman. He is not very instinctive, but he can play very well in zone coverage and reads the QBs eyes pretty well. He is a very strong tackler and can make some big hits, but sometimes he doesn’t wrap up the ball-carrier and struggles a little with that. He is good at attacking gaps and as a blitzer, he can disrupt runs in the backfield quickly for losses. He was a signal caller for Georgia’s secondary, something that Mike Zimmer definitely likes. Shawn Williams could be a solid player in the NFL, but don’t expect him to be to many Pro Bowls.