STRENGTHS - Bernard's versatility as a runner makes him effective anywhere on the field. He has the vision to find holes and the burst to exploit small openings in the defense to pick up large number of yards. He has the elusiveness to make defenders miss especially in the open field but will give a nasty stiff arm if needed. He is also a very effective receiver out of the backfield where he can create mismatches on an every down basis.
WEAKNESSES - He has good speed but is more quick than fast. He lacks great toughness as a runner between the tackles and will tend to dance around to find a hole. He will need to improve on being more decisive when running inside. As a blocker he lacks reps and is more about trying to get into his route instead of consistently doing his job as a blocker. He is a good receiver but will need to work on using his hands more to catch the ball instead of letting it get into his body.
SUMMARY - Gio has come back strong since blowing out his knee during fall practice in 2010 by leading his team in rushing for the last two seasons. He does run behind a very good line but has all the skills to be a very good running back at the NFL level. He is extremely consistent from a numbers standpoint, having rushed for over a 1000 yards in back to back seasons. His ability to plant and go are very impressive but what makes him an elite back in this draft is his balance. He shows a great range of moves which keeps the defenders guessing and is tough to tackle one on one. The one area that he could struggle immediately is on inside runs and churning out the tough short yardage runs or even goal line plays. But outside of the red zone he can make things happen. Overall, Giovani Bernard is one of the top backs in this draft. He will need a season to develop better running between the tackles and as a pass blocker, but is a perfect fit in a rotational system right now. He will be able to carry the load in the future and be a big part of his team's passing attack.