Based on how much value you place on public comments or predraft observations made by beat writers, the Cincinnati Bengals are clearly enamored with North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard. Predraft visits, dinner, workouts, Pro Day hangouts (not unlike Google Hangouts), Bernard is well acquainted with the Bengals coaching staff by now.
During Tuesday's press conference, Lewis was asked about the style that they're looking for. Are the Bengals approaching the draft looking to contrast with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, or simply applying a best player available philosophy at the position?
“That's a good question," Lewis said. "I think yes and no. Yes, if we could contrast from Benny a little bit, that would be at some point pretty good. But the most important thing is to have a guy who is going to make an impact over the next four seasons, minimum, and let's make sure we've got a guy that can handle that. That he's healthy and sturdy and can do those things we need. That's really what we're trying to look hard at in that spot."
Don't expect the Bengals to reach though.
"In the last few years, we have looked to get a (running) back in the top half of the draft, and we’ve not done that. We went a few years with tight end that way, and then we finally got Jermaine (Gresham) where it fit. Before that, we’d go to pick, there would be another guy who was playing another spot that we had ranked higher, and I would say that’s the same case (with running backs recently). I would say we probably try to hold as true to that as we can."