The Cincinnati Bengals drafted North Carolina running back
The latest a running back was taken before this year was in 1963 when Alabama's Mike Fracchia was drafted 33rd overall by the Cardinals.
While Alabama's Eddie Lacy was widely believed to be the first running back off the board this year, Bernard now has that distinction. He became the first North Carolina running back to surpass 1,000 rushing yards since 1997, rushing for 1,200 yards each of the last two seasons. The scouting report on Bernard:
STRENGTHS: Compactly built with good lower body drive … quick feet and loose hips to make smooth lateral cuts and force poor angles by defenders … elusive moves and uses his eyes well to set up his moves and create room … great patience and feel to pick through the defense … runs balanced and close to the ground, making him tough to square up …effective pass catcher (92 catches) and punt returner … runs with toughness and is able to carry some tacklers with his leg drive and active style.
WEAKNESSES: Lacks breakaway speed and can be caught from behind … doesn't have ideal build or strength for the position, lacking the growth potential to get much bigger …very average power and prefers to avoid contact rather than deliver blows … good effort in pass protection, but limited due to his size … needs to stay focused on returns to complete the catch … strong durability concerns after several injuries throughout his career, missing two games in 2012 … missed 2010 season with ACL.