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
The 2013 NFL Draft is over, and the Cincinnati Bengals arguably did their best on Day 2, which featured SMU’s Margus Hunt and UNC’s Giovani Bernard, and the praise is flowing in from all over the national media scene.
Mel Kiper loved the pickup of Bernard to finally give the Bengals that 1-2 backfield punch:
"If I went by my board, I would have preferred Eddie Lacy to Bernard at No. 37, but it’s not a bad pick. Remember, Bernard was the first running back taken in the entire draft, so if he’s the No. 1 player on Cincy’s board and they get him that far down, it’s a pretty good get. And what they really need at running back is a little more explosiveness and versatility. That’s exactly what Bernard offers, particularly as a pass-catcher."
NFL.com was very high on the selection of Hunt in the late second-round:
"Owner Mike Brown quietly has turned into one of the best drafters in the NFL. He backed up one of our favorite first-round picks in Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert with North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard and SMU defensive end Margus Hunt in the second round. This Bengals offense needed more explosiveness; it has it with Eifert and Bernard.Hunt is the poor man’s Ziggy Ansah (drafted No. 5 overall by the Detroit Lions). Cincinnati is the perfect spot for a raw talent with immense physical skills because of coordinator Mike Zimmer. No one coaches up pass rushers better."
More from CBS Sports on Hunt:
"The native of Estonia sounds like a PlayStation football creation: A 6-foot-8, 280 pounder with an 82-inch wingspan. Yet despite those long arms, he can still bench 225 35 timesHunt has blocked 14 kicks in three years and had 7.5 tackles for loss last season, including a breakout three-sack performance in SMU’s 2011 bowl win over Pitt."
CBS Sports also pegged Cincinnati as one of the biggest winners of Day Two:
"Once upon a time, the Bengals were one of the NFL’s most overworked punchlines. Not anymore. They’re quietly assembling another outstanding cast of draft picks, adding tight end Tyler Eifert, running back Giovani Bernard and defensive end Margus Hunt with their first three picks. Nice."
Nate Davis of USA Today Sports is also high on Giovani:
"One night after enlisting TE Tyler Eifert, the Bengals wisely continue adding parts around third-year QB Andy Dalton. Bernard is shifty, a good pass catcher and can return kicks — all things that starting RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis doesn’t do very well. Cincinnati’s lack of explosiveness outside of WR A.J. Green was a major reason the Texans scuttled them in the playoffs the past two seasons."