2022 Top 25 Buffalo Bills 25 and Under: No. 20 Terrel Bernard
Terrel Bernard was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. While the Bills have typically only played two linebackers for a majority of the year due to the fact that they play nickel, there is a chance that Bernard could have a role for this team as a rookie.
Bernard is small for a linebacker but that isn’t necessarily an issue in this defense as the Buffalo Bills value players who have above-average athleticism and can drop back into coverage, similar to like Matt Milano.
Terrel Bernard appears to have the athletic ability to drop back into coverage and this could give the coaching staff more flexibility this year to play more 4-3 defense without necessarily giving up as much in coverage. What it will provide is a little more size to defend the run, which is an area they struggled with, by switching Taron Johnson out for Bernard.
What is Terrel Bernard’s future role with the Buffalo Bills after 2022?
This is the biggest question because it is hard to imagine that the Buffalo Bills would play a majority of their snaps in a 4-3 defensive formation. Bernard’s skillset looks similar to what Milano brings to this defense so is there a path to him being a starter in the near future?
This doesn’t seem likely as long as Milano is on the team, and healthy. However, he provides a great backup plan to Milano, who has had injury concerns during his career while still bringing that flexibility for the coaching staff when calling plays.
This is where Bernard’s value is the greatest and why he is ranked where he is among the Top 25. He is a player that certainly has the talent to be a starter but probably won’t get a chance to show it early in his career.