Giovani Bernard and History of First Running backs Drafted

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December 30, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers running back

DeAngelo Williams

(34) runs for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Panthers defeated the Saints 44-38. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Other Notable First-round running backs this past decade:

Ron Dayne– 11th Overall Pick of the 2000 NFL Draft- Plated in 16 games , starting 4, and had 228 rushes for 770 yards and 5 TDs.

Shaun Alexander– 19th Pick of the 2000 NFL Draft- 313 rushing yards in rookie year

Michael Bennett– 27th Overall Pick of the 2001 NFL Draft-13 starts with 172 rushes for 682 yards and 2 TDs along with 29 catches for 226 yards and 1 TD

Larry Johnson– 27th Overall Pick of the 2003 NFL Draft- Managed just 85 yards in 6 games

Chris Perry– 26th Overall of the 2004 NFL Draft-Do I need to remind you?

Kevin Jones– 30th Overall Pick of the 2004 NFL Draft-

Cedric Benson– 4th Overall Pick of the 2005 NFL Draft- 67 carries for 272 yards and 0 TDs in 9 games.

DeAngelo Williams- 27th Overall Pick of the 2006 NFL Draft-121 carries for 501 yards & 33 catches for 313 yards and 2 total TDs.

Marshawn Lynch– 12th Overall Pick of the 2007 NFL Draft-280 rushes for 1,115 yards and 7 TDs

Felix Jones– 22nd Overall Pick of the 2008 NFL Draft-Played in 6 games and scored 3 TDs but just 266 yards, before he would end up injuring his hamstring, a common theme in his career.

Beanie Wells- 31st Overall Pick of the 2008 NFL Draft-16 games with 176 rushes for 793 yards and 7 TDs.

Doug Martin– 31st overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft- Finished with over 1450 yards rushing and 1926 yards from scrimmage in 16 games. Broke the Buccaneers’ single-season rookie rushing record.

David Wilson– 32nd overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft- 16 games (1 start) with 71 rushes for 358 yards and 4 TDs.

I think the numbers DeAngelo Williams put up in his rookie year will be similar to that of Bernard’s 2013 season. I think Bernard will miss 1-2 games due to injury, as he was banged-up frequently at North Carolina, and rookie backs who get as many touches as he’s projected to get don’t often make it through their rookie season without getting dinged-up at some point.

Still, if the history of first RBs drafted is any indicator of whaty kind of year Bernard will have, Bengals fans should be optimistic about the season he’ll have in 2013.

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