Rookie running back Giovani Bernard is expected to insert some much-needed vigor to the Bengals' backfield this year. Coaches have raved about Bernard and talked about what he could be in the near future. This season, he will fit in as part of a committee with veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis . But while Green-Ellis is expected to start early on, that doesn't mean Bernard will be the team's clear-cut No. 2 back. More like No. 1b. That's because, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has hinted at an even split in carries among the two players.
Despite no NFL track record and likely entering the season as a backup, Bernard currently has a higher average draft position than BJG-E. And that's how it should be. He is definitely more valuable in PPR leagues, and if Bernard lives up to the hype while the plodding Green-Ellis continues to churn out mediocre numbers, the Bengals should give the rookie more work as the weeks go by. I think Bernard could be an RB1 as soon as next year. For this season, he should be drafted as a high-end flex player who might develop into an every-week RB2 by midseason.