North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard won't be selected in Round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft, but he'll make a huge impact for the team that drafts him in 2013.
Bernard isn't the only player that is bound to make a splash in the NFL after likely waiting until Round 2 for his name to come off the board.
The draft is a pseudoscience, part intuition and part art. Some general managers have each aspect of it nailed, while others seemingly pick players by throwing a dart at their big boards in a darkened room.
Phenomenal players slip past the first round every year, only to play the rest of their careers with massive chips on their shoulders, proving they should have been one of the top 32 picks. It's great for the team that drafts them, but not so much for the rest of the league.
These second-round prospects are about to wreak havoc on the NFL in 2013.
Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Eddie Lacy has gotten most of the love from the national media as a potential first-round running back—and deservedly so—but Bernard may end up becoming a more dynamic player in the NFL.
NFL Network's Bucky Brooks recently compared Bernard to Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, and it's not hard to see why.
The 5'10", 205-pound running back won't ever be mistaken for a power back, but he is an elusive, shifty back with breakaway speed.
While most young running backs will look to hit the corner to beat defenses with pure speed, Bernard already displays excellent patience and vision between the tackles. He is also a terrific receiver (47 catches and five receiving touchdowns in 2012) out of the backfield, and his willingness and skill as a pass-blocker make him a legitimate three-down running back.
Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are the two guards universally touted as first-round prospects and both seem to fit the bill. As a result, Warford will almost certainly fall into Round 2, but the team that lands him will be scoring a major steal.
A huge man at 6'3" and 333 pounds, Warford is a dominating run-blocker who possesses excellent, quick feet and a massive set of thighs. He is extremely agile, which helps him as a pulling guard on run plays and as a pass-blocker.
Warford showed up in great shape for the Senior Bowl and impressed scouts by dominating the trenches against some stiff competition, though he wasn't without a few fails.
There are many teams in need of guards in 2013, and there's no way Warford falls out of the second round. Given his size, skill and nasty attitude, I'd expect Warford to be a starter from Day 1 in 2013, and he could end up becoming one of the best offensive linemen from this year's draft class.
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
This year's iteration of the draft features an especially deep and talented crop at safety. Cyprien stands out as a potential NFL superstar.
This small-school prospect is the hardest-hitting safety in this year's draft class. He's no slouch in coverage, either, as long as he's not asked to cover the entire back end in a single-deep set. Cyprien plays with excellent discipline and technique, which is a huge reason he'll be successful in the NFL.
At 6'0" and 210 pounds, Cyprien has the size needed to be an effective dual-role safety—likely on the strong side—and he has enough agility, speed and athleticism to cover slot receivers one-on-one.
Where Cyprien really shines, though, is when he's near the line of scrimmage against the run. He's incredibly instinctive and has an uncanny knack of finding the soft spot, hitting the hole and wrapping up the running back with authority.
Don't be surprised to see Cyprien selected early in Round 2, and if he's drafted by your favorite team, you should expect great things in the near future from this little-known stud.
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