Cincinnati Bengals second-year running back Giovani Bernard had an incredibly promising rookie campaign, as the 22-year-old UNC product was one of the league’s most electrifying weapons with the ball in space. With his elite agility, Bernard can make defenders miss almost at will, and there aren’t many backs who possess his ability to make an impact in the passing game out of the backfield. He caught 56 passes for over 500 yards and three touchdowns last season, and he was also able to run for 695 yards and five touchdowns.
The 2014 season should be an even bigger one for Bernard, and there are many people projecting a monster season from him. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis believes his talented RB is poised for a huge breakout campaign, and he threw in a loose comparison to a star running back in the AFC North.
Per the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Dehner Jr., Lewis “envisions” Bernard having a second-year campaign that is as terrific as Ray Rice’s was for the Baltimore Ravens, and he added that this is a huge offseason for the 5’9″ RB. Like Rice, Bernard is an incredible weapon in the passing game, and he also has the game-breaking agility and quickness that Rice showed off with ease early in his career. Rice is looking for a bounce-back season in 2014, but Bernard is looking to break out as a potential top-ten running back.