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Giovani Bernard | Running Back

Team: North Carolina Tar Heels
Age / DOB:  (26) / 11/22/1991
Ht / Wt:  5'9" / 205

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Bengals selected North Carlona RB Giovani Bernard with the No. 37 overall pick.
Bernard (5-9, 202) amassed 2,481 yards and 25 touchdowns on 423 college carries (5.9 YPC) before turning pro following his redshirt sophomore year. Perhaps most impressively, he averaged 46 receptions per season and scored twice on punt returns. Bernard ran a 4.53 forty with a 10-foot-2 broad jump at the Combine. A terrific receiver with some Brian Westbrook to his game, Bernard lacks physicality as a runner but combines lightning-quick, rapid-fire cuts with fantastic acceleration and lateral jukes. Fri, Apr 26, 2013 07:02:00 PM

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North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard spoke with the Green Bay Packers at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He specifically spoke to running backs coach Alex Van Pelt and the information appears to be coming out just now, as far as we can see. Bernard's a dynamic talent that shows versatility as a runner and in the passing game. He doesn't have great long speed but enough to get to the end zone when combined with his dazzling short-area quickness. He's expected to be a second round selection and could be a Packer, provided they trade back into the second as GM Ted Thompson sometimes does.
Mon, Apr 15, 2013 07:19:00 PM

National Football Post's Russ Lande writes that he would draft UNC RB Giovani Bernard before Alabama RB Eddie Lacy.

Lacy has been the more popular name in draft circles but Lande does not agree. "In the end, neither Lacy or Bernard warrants being selected in the first round in my opinion, but both have the tools to be solid starting backs," Lande writes. "...Bernard is not going to be a power back, but with some added weight could turn out to be an excellent inside runner. He is a more dangerous big play back who can be a dangerous receiver out of the backfield, which is so vital in today’s NFL. I would draft Bernard ahead of Lacy if I were making the choice because he has the potential to contribute in more areas than Lacy and is a legit big play threat every time he touches the ball."
Mon, Apr 15, 2013 05:55:00 PM

The Dolphins are "showing considerable interest" in UNC RB Gio Bernard, according to beat writer Barry Jackson.

Bernard is from Florida and spent five hours at the Dolphins' headquarters last Thursday. Jackson calls Bernard an option at picks No. 42 and 54. The team is expected to feature Lamar Miller as their top rusher, but need a third down or passing down back, and Bernard has experience in that area.
Tue, Mar 26, 2013 09:50:00 AM

Scouts Inc. ranks UNC RB Gio Bernard as the No. 114 overall player in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Bernard earned a grade of 71, along with four other prospects including CB Jordan Poyer, DE Malliciah Goodman, T Brennan Williams, and WR Tavarres King. We think Bernard has second day skills due to quick cuts to change defenders' tackling angles, but he does not bring the strength to break a large amount of tackles after contact.
Source: ESPN
Fri, Mar 15, 2013 01:44:00 PM

Draft analyst Russ Lande was told by teams that North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard reminds them of Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice.

Bernard went into the draft with questions about his medicals and size but appears to have made out well. Lande writes Bernard "may be able to challenge Lacy to be the first back" selected in April. Although Bernard has been criticized for his finesse running style, he has special traits that could make him a very productive runner in the pros.
Thu, Feb 28, 2013 02:35:00 PM

UNC RB Giovani Bernard measured 5'8 and 3/8 inches and 202 pounds at the NFL Combine weigh-in.

Bernard was listed at 5'10" at UNC, but height is not an issue for the running back. We love Bernard's shorty, choppy steps that allow him to make quick cuts and evade tacklers, but he does tend to go down on first contact between the tackles.
Fri, Feb 22, 2013 12:44:00 PM

Lions beat writer Dave Birkett believes RB is perhaps the team's top need on the offensive side of the ball.

General manager Martin Mayhew said he wants to add some "juice" to the backfield. Birkett suggests UNC's Gio Bernard, Clemson's Andre Ellington, Oregon's Kenjon Barner, Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle, and Stony Brook's Miguel Maysonet as possibilities.
Tue, Feb 19, 2013 12:44:00 PM

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay stated that in terms of an NFL comparison, UNC redshirt sophomore RB Giovani Bernard "is somewhere between Shane Vereen and LeSean McCoy."

McShay adds that Bernard currently carries a second-round grade and sits atop the running back rankings. Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell, Wisconsin's Montee Ball, Clemson's Andre Ellington, Alabama's Eddie Lacy, and Oregon's Kenjon Barner round out the running back prospects that are ranked in the top-100 slots.
Source: ESPN
Wed, Dec 19, 2012 09:50:00 AM

UNC redshirt sophomore RB Giovani Bernard declared for April's NFL Draft.

This announcement has been rumored for some time, but we feel it is the right decision for Bernard's future. The Tar Heel adds to the list of redshirt sophomores who have declared at the running back position in recent years. He will need to get past medical checks with a ACL injury in his past, but Bernard utilizes a sturdy base and quick cuts on short strides to beat defenses at every level of the field.
Source: Go Heels
Fri, Dec 14, 2012 08:38:00 AM

SI's Tony Pauline reports that UNC redshirt sophomore Giovani Bernard "must hurdle" some medical issues from his past during the the draft process.

Pauline is hearing from sources that Bernard is set to leave for the NFL, but these medical evaluations could hinder his draft ceiling. The Tar Heel was forced to redshirt the 2010 season due to a torn ACL, but other than minor setbacks in the last two years we cannot find any other major injuries. Bernard has certainly looked healthy the past two seasons.
Wed, Dec 12, 2012 10:34:00 AM

UNC redshirt sophomore Giovani Bernard was the only RB to earn a first-round grade from SI's Tony Pauline.

Pauline calls Bernard a, "nifty, elusive, double cut runner that consistently creates his own yardage." We expect the redshirt sophomore to declare, but it wouldn't be the first time a prospect unexpectedly returns to school. Regardless, this might be the first year that a running back isn't selected in the first-round since 1963.
Wed, Dec 5, 2012 10:31:00 AM

UNC redshirt sophomore RB Giovani Bernard rushed for 163 yards and one touchdown Saturday against Maryland.

He added five receptions that went for 32 yards. This could have been Bernard's final collegiate home game, and the redshirt sophomore has a lot of thinking to do before the deadline to declare. We think Bernard would rank as this class' top back if he includes his name in the pool.
Sun, Nov 25, 2012 06:31:00 PM

UNC redshirt sophomore RB Giovani Bernard rushed for 57 yards on 15 carries and added 47 receiving yards and a touchdown on four receptions Thursday against Virginia.

Bernard was limited on the ground but showed have nice receiving ability on a touchdown catch after finding a soft area beyond the awaiting linebackers. We consider the redshirt sophomore the top running back in this class.
Fri, Nov 16, 2012 09:24:00 AM

UNC redshirt sophomore RB Giovani Bernard claims he has not made up his mind on if he will forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter the 2012 Draft.

"People were talking about it before the season even started," Bernard said. "For me, I told myself, I told everybody, I’m not going to think about it until after the season. If things look good for me, I may go, I may not." The Tar Heel took a medical redshirt in 2010 after tearing his ACL and missed another two games in 2011 with a knee issue, so that injury history may push him to the NFL rather than chance another collegiate season.
Thu, Nov 1, 2012 10:44:00 AM