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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
ACC and the NFL draft

By Heather Dinich

Who's staying, who's going?

For many of the ACC's draft-eligible players, it depends on how high their stock is right now. UNC's Giovani Bernard has been one of the ACC's most electrifying running backs, and whether he decides to leave school early will have a huge impact on the Tar Heels next season.

Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. took a look at some possible first-round picks at running back for next year's NFL draft, and Bernard was listed along with Clemson running back Andre Ellington. Here's a sneak peek at the Insider content:
On Bernard: The biggest concern with Bernard is his ability to handle a heavy workload and stay healthy over the course of a grueling NFL season. He has just average size (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) and tore an ACL in the fall of 2009. Bernard has some wear on his tires, averaging more than 18 carries per game the past two seasons and taking more hits as a receiver and punt returner.

On Ellington: Ellington is an undersized back (5-9\, 195) who has had problems staying healthy and doesn't have the power to push the pile in short-yardage situations. There are also concerns about his vision and anticipation.

Mel Kiper Jr. also recently released his latest Big Board , which features FSU defensive end Bjoern Werner at No. 8 and UNC guard Jonathan Cooper at No. 15. Todd McShay's most recent mock draft also had UNC defensive tackle Sylvester Williams at No. 9, Werner at No. 10, and Cooper at No. 11. Here's a snippet of what McShay had to say about injured FSU DE Tank Carradine, who dropped from No. 13 to No. 25:
Carradine was one of the fastest-rising prospects in the nation before tearing an ACL in the regular-season finale against Florida, and until there is more news on his recovery, his grade will remain on the fringe of the first round.