Former North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard was reportedly in Cincinnati on Tuesday, visiting with the Bengals and had dinner with team officials, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, siting league sources.
Bernard was in town after visiting the Cowboys on Monday. According to Reedy, Bernard received quite a bit of attention from Marvin Lewis and Hue Jackson when the two attended North Carolina's pro day a week earlier.
Bernard is considered one of the top running back's in this year's draft class and could prove to be a good complement to BenJarvus Green-Ellis as a change-of-pace back. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds at the NFL Combine and is more of an explosive runner and a home run threat than Green-Ellis.
While at the Combine, Bernard said that he could carry the load for a team like the Bengals and he wants to be an every-down back at some point and not just a change-of-pace back. He said that he could carry the ball between the tackles against AFC North defenses despite his 5-foot-8, 202-pound frame.
"Being physical is the biggest thing about being a running back," Bernard said. "You wan to be able to be physical and churn out those yards on first and second down. It makes it a lot easier for an offensive coordinator if you make it second-and-five. So it makes it a lot easier for an offensive coordinator to really call the plays. So for me, I want to be able to be the every-down back and I'm going to strive to be the every-down back I think I am. Hopefully Cincinnati, or whatever other team, the other 31 teams out there see me as an every-down back. Whatever team I end up, I'll be happy."
The Draft is less than a month away and the Bengals have stated that they will be using a draft pick on a running back. They have four selections in the first three rounds and targeting Bernard is a real possibility.