Giovani Bernard & Tyler Eifert’s Short and Long-Term Impact
By Jason Marcum
May 10, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick running back Giovani Bernard runs with ball during the Bengals rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
When looking at the 2013 Cincinnati Bengals roster and the players that were added to it this offseason, there won’t be many players that are able to come in and get early playing time, given the fact that the Bengals return all 11 offensive starters and nine defensive starters.
But assuming he can stay healthy for the duration of the year, North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard is the favorite to get the most touches of any offensive player drafted, as the Bengals have desperately needed a dynamic pass-catching back to compliment the short-yardage game of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Bernard finished his 2012 campaign with 47 receptions for 490 yards (10.4 ypc) and totaled five touchdowns.Meanwhile, Bengals backs combined for 43 catches for 257 yards (6 ypc) in 2012.
Gio figures to get a lot of playing time, and may eventually earn the starting spot.
May 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) warms up during organized team activities at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
For the duration of his rookie contract, that has to got to Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert. He probably won’t get a lot of opportunities to put up big numbers this year, but once the 2014-15 NFL season concludes and Jermaine Gresham is a free agent, Eifert could very will find himself the #1 TE in an offense that likes to feature the TE. His ability to split out wide, or even line up in the backfield as an H-back will allow him to become a big-time contributor on a team who’s quarterback is more geared toward a short-intermediate passing game, which is what Eifert thrives in.
This is a common belief among many analysts and fantasy football pundits, and Doug Veach of Dynasty League Football believes Eifert is one of the best players to add to your dynasty league this year in hopes that he begins to flourish in 2014:
"Let’s face it – Cincinnati does not have an established WR2. Mohamed Sanu had injury concerns last season and Marvin Jones; well, he just didn’t look that good. So the Bengals stayed true to their draft board and took the most talented tight end in this draft class. A lot of people are turned off by Eifert’s landing spot and he could very well fall even further than the 1.09-2.03 range. I see Eifert’s situation as a positive one considering Jermaine Gresham only has two years remaining on his rookie contract. If Eifert progresses well in year one, Gresham could be handed his walking papers sooner than later. Early reports from rookie camp have stated Eifert has been getting extensive work not only from his natural position, but also in the slot, which means he could see plenty of looks this season. He should be a difference maker and a low end TE1 for your dynasty teams no later than the 2014 season."
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