2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Terrel Bernard

Terrel Bernard

Terrel Bernard was a three-star recruit out of La Porte high school in Texas. Shortly after decommitting to the University of Houston, Bernard signed with Baylor in January of 2017. He redshirted for the 2017 season after an early-season injury. Bernard played the last four years for Baylor, appearing in 42 games. He is an undersized linebacker who possesses great speed and athleticism. Bernard provides quality mid-round depth to the 2022 linebacker class.

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Player Bio

Name: Terrel Bernard
Jersey: No. 2
Position: Linebacker
School: Baylor
Class: Senior
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 222 lbs

Games Watched: BYU (2021), Iowa State (2021), Kansas (2021), Kansas (2020)

Major Injury History: Shoulder (2020), Foot (2017)

Player Breakdown

Instincts (12.75/15)

Bernard has some moments in which he shows great instincts. He is a fantastic pre-snap communicator who will get his teammates where they need to be. Bernard reads consistently well with his eyes. At times though, he can be a second late with his reaction to certain misdirection run schemes and play-action passes. However, Bernard does possess a good feel for where most inside and outside runs are going when there is no confusion in the backfield.

Tackling (11.25/15)

This is a part of Bernard’s game that is up and down. He is always willing to make a tackle on any part of the field. Bernard is best making tackles in space using his speed and athleticism. However, he will at times take angles that are way too sharp in space relying too much on his physical talent, leading to not making a tackle. He did prove some good things against inside runs around the line of scrimmage as a tackler. When Bernard gets in the backfield he can certainly finish with a physical presence bringing the quarterback down.

Block Shedding (6.75/10)

Arguably Bernard’s biggest concern as a prospect is his lack of disengaging from offensive lineman when they get up to the second level. It is where his lack of size and strength hurt him most. When Bernard uses his leverage to his advantage at the point of attack he can shed blocks. On certain run schemes, he showed he can use his athleticism to work around a blocker. Getting a little bit stronger would likely help Bernard in this regard moving forward.

Run Defense (7/10)

Bernard does a good job of reading patiently with his eyes. On simpler run schemes, he can diagnose and react well. He will fill his gap and help make tackles. With his speed, he can cover ground well against outside runs. Where Bernard struggles against the run is when there is a lot of pre-snap motioning and misdirection in the backfield. He struggled with some quarterback keepers on option runs. Lastly, when an offensive lineman gets up to the second level on inside runs he can be a liability.

Pursuit/Closing Speed (9.25/10)

Easily the best trait Bernard possesses. He not only has sideline to sideline speed but always plays with great effort until the play is over. He will pursue runs and screens from the backside and make a tackle. Bernard can close on skill players when the football is near him. In space, he uses his speed to his advantage and will always finish the play near the ball carrier. He can get into the backfield as a blitzer very fast.

Pass Rush Ability (8.25/10)

Whether he is rushing from the edge or his usual linebacker position, Bernard can be an effective pass rusher. On the edge, he showed some good bend along with his speed. When rushing along the interior, he was fast to the quarterback when unblocked. He was too physical for running backs who were assigned to block him. Against interior lineman, he can struggle physically. Still, he plays tough and competes hard. He gives himself his best chance when using good leverage at the point of attack.

Man Coverage (8/10)

At times, Bernard almost looks like a slot cornerback when lined up at linebacker with his smaller frame. He was not matched up with running backs very much but was at times with tight ends. As expected, Bernard showed he can run and move fluidly in one-on-one coverage. Where he could run into trouble is when bigger tight ends look to get physical with him. Overall, Bernard’s athleticism allows him to be effective in man coverage.

Zone Coverage (8.25/10)

Bernard had most of his zone coverage responsibilities over the middle on hook curls and occasionally Tampa 2. He does a good job of reading the quarterback with his eyes. Bernard shuffles and backpedals with fluidity. He can cover a ton of ground with his speed and athleticism whether it be moving vertically or horizontally. Bernard showed his smarts when picking up on certain routes.

Ball Skills (3/5)

In terms of making plays on the football, Bernard was not too productive. He did not show very much in terms of breaking plays up. He recorded seven pass deflections over the last three seasons. Bernard did not have an interception in 2021. He did not force one fumble throughout his four years. However, the tremendous athleticism he possesses gives him the upside to grow in terms of making plays on the football.

Versatility (4/5)

As stated above, Bernard almost looks like a slot cornerback. He can hold his own as a coverage linebacker. In terms of moving up the field, Bernard showed good ability as a pass rusher on the edge and the interior from his linebacker position. As a result of his size, it is not ideal for Bernard to be utilized in a 3-4 scheme. In a 4-3 however, he can be utilized as a SAM while his best fit is at the WILL position where he can react and play with his speed.

Player Summary

Overall, Bernard is a good mid-round linebacker prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft class. His only struggles come as a result of his lack of size and strength when attempting to disengage from a block. If he can grow and get bigger, there is room for growth. Bernard is an ideal coverage linebacker with speed and athletic ability. He can also be deployed as a pass rusher. Bernard plays hard with great effort all the time. He can make sideline-to-sideline plays as well as in space. As a run defender, he may have to be eased in. He should hold his own in passing situations right away. Bernard should be drafted by a team that runs a 4-3 scheme to play as a WILL linebacker.

Rookie Projection: Potential Starting 4-3 WILL Linebacker

Three Year Projection: Starting 4-3 WILL Linebacker

Final Grade (78.5/100): Mid Third-Round Pick

Player Comp: Kyzir White

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