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Draft Preview: Yvenson Bernard

In his final game with the Oregon State Beavers, Yvenson Bernard grinded out 38 carries, but made no receptions. That showdown versus the Maryland Terrapins is a microcosm of Bernard's college career: A dangerously high number of carries and declining receiving numbers. In 11 healthy contests, Bernard averaged 24 carries in 2007. Over a 16 game NFL season, that pace would push him beyond the notorious 370 carry limit (384). For his career, Bernard has had 30+ rushes in 10 separate contests. In his first full season starting (2005), Bernard averaged 8.5 yards per reception. By 2007, his production had dropped to just 5 yards per reception. All this would be less concerning if Bernard wasn't plagued by nagging injuries his senior season.

Bernard is undoubtedly a fine rusher. On peak ability alone, he's among the draft's top talents. But ability is not static. Bernard is already displaying worrying indications of decline. A team must draft a player's future, and though Bernard seems driven, talented and tough as nails, his best seasons are likely behind him. Talent of Bernard's caliber seldom falls to the second day, at his best he's a better overall rusher than Cedric Benson or Cadillac Williams, but draft day steal he's not. I'd be surprised if he had 3 productive seasons as a pro.