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Terrel Bernard NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Buffalo Bills' LB

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2022

Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'0 7'8"

WEIGHT: 224

HAND: 9 5/8"

ARM: 30 1/4"

WINGSPAN: 6'1"

40-YARD DASH: DNP

3-CONE: 7.03

SHUTTLE: 4.25

VERTICAL: 35.5"

BROAD: 10'3"

POSITIVES

— Speed in space pops off the film. Highly effective pursuit defender sideline-to-sideline.

— Impressive flexibility and body control. Allows him to change directions and flow in space, as well as turn to make himself skinny when taking on blockers.

— Downhill speed can beat linemen to the spot and wiggle past them to shoot through a gap.

— Impressive turn-and-run speed and change of direction in coverage. Regularly had to carry tight ends up the seam and back across the field on crossers and kept up with them step for step.

— Effective as a blitzer, particularly looping around the edge. Has the speed and bend to be a problem in space and finish sacks with his speed.

NEGATIVES

— Size and weight is a concern. Handily overwhelmed by offensive linemen if they get a hand on him more often than not. Does not take on blocks effectively.

— Not a physical tackler. Struggles to strike through runners and bring them down where they are.

— Eye candy can give him some trouble at times. Regularly comes up too far on play action and fails to regain depth. Shifts, motions and players coming across the line of scrimmage at the snap to block can get him to hesitate.

— Can get lost in the mosh pit against heavier and tighter formations. Does not have the strength or comfort to handle those situations.

— Limited in coverage right now assignment-wise despite his range. Only comfortable turning and running across the field in man or match coverage. Needs to prove more as a zone-coverage defender playing top-down.

2021 STATISTICS

13 G, 103 TOT, 12.5 TFL 7.5 SK, 4 PBU

OVERALL

Terrell Bernard has been a linebacker since the day Baylor recruited him, but he looks and plays like a safety who was converted to linebacker.

The sideline-to-sideline range Bernard shows off is among the best in the class, as is his flexibility and change of direction. Many of his best plays feature him flying across from the opposite side of a run play to shoot through a gap or firing downhill to slip past a blocker into the backfield, Lavonte David style. All of that range and agility shows up when he's asked to cover players in tight coverage as well.

The concerns with Bernard's game stem mostly from size and strength. He is not necessarily unwilling to scrap with blockers, but he doesn't have the length or strength to engage blocks and fight back effectively. Bernard will also need to expand his coverage toolbox in the NFL, though his speed alone should allow him to play some man coverage and consistently make tackles on the perimeter.

Bernard projects best as a weak-side linebacker. As a weak-side linebacker, he would more regularly be protected by seeing runs away from him, allowing him to shoot gaps as a pursuit player or flow over the top to finish plays on the perimeter. Bernard would also be allowed to handle running backs out of the backfield more often than not, which is a good matchup for him considering his athletic traits.

Bernard is not a Day 1 starter, but his speed alone makes him an enticing developmental option.

GRADE: 6.4 (High-Level Developmental Prospect - 5th Round)

OVERALL RANK: 167

POSITION RANK: LB15

PRO COMPARISON: Jatavis Brown

Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen

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