North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard may just be the steal of the upcoming NFL Draft. Bernard plays a position that has been devalued by most as the league has shifted towards playing multiple RBs instead of having just one ball carrier. With so many mid-late round gems being uncovered year after year (see Alfred Morris-6th round 2012) teams are focusing on other positions in the early rounds of the draft.
This season Bernard is between the first and third best back in the draft depending on who you listen to which could mean the UNC star won’t hear his name called until the third or even fourth round of the draft. It’s even conceivable that the injury riddled Marcus Lattimore will go ahead of Bernard.
But enough about draft trends and where he might end up, Bernard has a lot to offer and if put in the right situation could help a team immediately. Gio has proven to be a very capable runner both inside and outside the tackle box, he’s amazing in space, has good hands out of the backfield, is a capable blocker and an excellent punt returner.
A lot of times in the NFL it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. The best case scenario is Bernard winding up somewhere with a chance to compete for the starting tailback position and an opportunity to return punts.
Giovani will likely be drafted somewhere that will make Tar Heel fans scratch their heads and wonder why he fell so far. But don’t be surprised if by the end of the year he’s the one everyone is pointing to as the steal of the draft.