Advanced scouting: Giovani Bernard

April, 2, 2013
4/02/13
11:30
PM ET
BernardBob Donnan/US PresswirePunishing running back Giovani Bernard scored 25 career touchdowns at North Carolina.

To help preview who might be on the Dallas Cowboys’ board for the NFL draft, ESPNDallas.com has identified five players at five key positions that we’d like to learn more about. Along those lines, we’ve asked former Cowboys assistant coach Glenn “Stretch” Smith – the official scout of Galloway & Company – to study tape of each player and give his thoughts.

No. 3 running back: Giovani Bernard


Height/weight: 5-foot-10, 205 pounds

School: North Carolina

Why he’s on the radar: The Cowboys have discussed the need to find durable backs to improve at this position. But Bernard has health issues, having torn his ACL in 2010, as well as missing two games last season. When healthy, Bernard has been a productive back, scoring 25 career touchdowns. He's played in two different types of offenses -- pro style and spread -- and could be a physical back to provide help for DeMarco Murray. Lance Dunbar will return as an off-tackle runner, but getting a punisher such as Bernard might prove helpful.

Projection: Second or third round

Stretch Truths: Despite his lack of size, I like this kid. ... Can also return kicks. ... Runs with toughness between the tackles, and he has some short area quickness to make good inside cuts. ... Good vision on draws and screens, and also in the open field as a return guy. ... Question is his health after he tore his ACL in his right knee in 2010. ... Not a physical blocker at the point of attack. ... He likes to cut too much, but this kid has some upside.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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