Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: RB Giovani Bernard
Giovani Bernard, RB North Carolina
5-10, 205 pounds
Hometown: Davie, FL
News and Notes:
Bernard enters the NFL as a redshirt sophomore … Missed his freshman season with a torn ACL before becoming the Tar Heels’ starting running back for two seasons … Can do everything from the position: catches the ball well out of the backfield and hits the hole quickly … 45 receptions as freshman, 47 catches as a sophomore … Started over Wisconsin RB James White at St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Florida … 2012 First-Team All-ACC (ACSMA, Coaches, Phil Steele) … 2012 ACC Player of the Year (CBSsports.com) … 2012 Third-Team All-America (Associated Press, Phil Steele) … 2011 First-Team All-ACC (ACSMA) … 2011 First-Team Freshman All-America
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “Bernard is compactly built with good lower body drive, running decisive and hard with some power. He has quick feet and loose hips to make smooth lateral cuts and make open field moves with the acceleration to force poor angles by defenders.”
- DraftInsider.net: “Nifty, elusive, double cut runner that consistently creates his own yardage.” (Only RB that warrants a 1st-round grade.)
- Natural runner with great vision.
- Impressive as a receiver out of the backfield. Doesn’t only catch screen passes; runs a number of pass patterns and catches the ball with his hands.
- Doesn’t have breakaway speed, but has enough to get to the second level.
- Perhaps the nation’s best punt returner this past season; returned 16 punts for 263 yards and two touchdowns.
- Ball security not much of a concern; lost two fumbles as a redshirt freshman but didn’t lose a fumble during the 2012 season.
- For only playing two years of college football, Bernard is a polished runner with a complete skill set for a running back.
- I really like the idea of Bernard in the Packers offense. North Carolina ran a lot out of the shotgun, asking Bernard to pick up the blitz as well as catch passes out of the backfield. The Packers haven’t had a guy that could run, catch and pick up the blitz in some time. To me, Bernard is a natural fit for what the Packers like to do offensively.