40 time: 4.63
Overview: A couple major injuries have hurt Bernard's draft stock, but when healthy he's a man possessed on the field. He took over the starting job for the Bears after an injury redshirt and a year of rotational work. In his first season as a starter, Bernard earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2019 while leading the team in tackles. A shoulder injury shortened his 2020 campaign, but he returned to full strength in 2021. While his size and injuries may scare off some teams, he should find a home in the middle of the draft due to his athleticism and instincts.
Strengths: Runs like a safety when he gets room to build up speed. Always around the ball due to his effort in pursuit. Nifty at evading blocks through both agility and hand usage. Angry and energized tackler who fights to bring people down. Football intelligence is evident on the field. Very loose hips allow him to change directions like a defensive back. Won't take snaps off. Feisty enough to do some damage as a blitzer.
Weaknesses: Going to get bullied at times in the run game due to his size and play strength. Uses his chest as a battering ram sometimes to make up for his lack of length. More nimble on his junior tape than his senior tape. Will be bowled over by larger backs in the NFL. Drag tackler who may need some assistance to get finishes. Coverage awareness and technique need work.
Pro Comp: Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons -- Coming off his sixth year as a starter for the Falcons, there's little doubt that Jones has been able to succeed despite his underwhelming size. Bernard has similar measurables and energy, and he should be able to find a starting job sooner rather than later.