The Cincinnati Bengals' rookie running back, Giovani Bernard, certainly looks the part.
A solid runner from the University of North Carolina, who can run through and over defenders without having to switch gears. If anything, he gets faster moving through the line.
While there are other runners who may have had a more high profile career, like Eddie Lacy at Alabama or Le’Veon Bell, there are few who have been as prolific.
According to a story by Sean O’Donnell of Yahoo! Sports, “Bernard is larger than most fans realize -- weighing in at a solid 208 pounds -- and has the tenacity to get the job done through the interior of the line as well as on the edge. This could turn him into a very complete back at the NFL level sooner rather than later.”
That is a great thing for Bengals fans and a scary thing for the opposition each week.
Current Bengals running backs coach Hue Jackson was one of his biggest supporters coming out of college and continues to be as the rookie gets acclimated to the professional game.
"One of the reasons I stood up for him, I think he'll churn out those tough yards. I don't think he shies away from that. He's 208 pounds. I think a lot of people think he can't do it. I'm not ready to say that. I don't see that. We obviously know he's not afraid to run between,” Jackson said in the article.
Because of his shiftiness and his ability to be a change-of-pace back in this offense, I suspect Andy Dalton will look to him in play action. Also, because of the plethora of receivers in the Bengals' stable, with A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and two tight ends who not only block but catch the ball, you can be sure Bernard will have a chance to have balls thrown his way.
If there is any reason to doubt he will be a real find in a points-per-reception league, take this into account.
At North Carolina, a team known more for running than passing the ball, Bernard had 92 receptions for over 800 yards and six touchdowns through the air. That went along with over 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns in those two seasons.
If there is a more complete back in this draft, please tell me who.
Bernard has a chance to play a brand of offense like a Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk played before him.
And he has a chance to be better than them.
This guy will be a stud.