Not only were Bengals scouts seen chatting with running back Giovani Bernard during North Carolina University's Pro Day on Tuesday, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, already known as one of those in attendance, took particular interest in Bernard, according to Rob Rang with CBSSports.com.
Running back Giovani Bernard may have been the biggest name of UNC's flashy skill-position athletes, but the only measured drill he performed Wednesday was in the bench press. He was quite impressive in this test, however, as the 5-8 1/2, 204-pounder lifted the bar 19 times. Bernard also showed superb quickness and burst during his positional drills. According to the source, the Bengals' Lewis seemed to be particularly interested in Bernard's workout.
Mocking the Draft ranks Bernard as the No. 2 running back prospect. Our own Joe Goodberry ranked him No. 1. ESPN ranks him No. 8. Mel Kiper Jr. lists Bernard No. 4. Additionally Eddie Lacy is the only running back mock drafted at Mocking the Draft. Neither Kiper nor Todd McShay have Bernard in the first round. Per ESPN:
Super quick feet. Has good initial burst and outstanding lateral agility. Can stop-start on a dime. Accelerates off cuts. Very good quickness in and out of the hole. Can string together multiple moves. Very slippery between the tackles. Only knock here is his lack of a second-gear. He has good burst to and through the hole but he levels off within 10 yards. Will not win many foot races versus DBs with average speed or LBs with good speed.
As for the Bengals, it's strongly believed that they'll use one of their second round picks, or their third, on a running back to complement with BenJarvus Green-Ellis.