The first of the two guards signed by the Cowboys this offseason was Mackenzy Bernadeau of the Carolina Panthers. Bernadeau made 20 starts for the Panthers in his four years there, but only one in 2011, against the Falcons last December.
I was able to study him in the Falcons game, plus the preseason games against the Giants and Dolphins. Bernadeau lined up at left guard in the Falcons game, but I have a sense that he will be playing on the right side for the Cowboys, as he did against the Giants and Dolphins.
He shows nice upper body strength when locked up on his man and does a good job of sustaining on contact. He's able to help across the pocket when uncovered, plays with awareness on the twist stunts and is able to pass his man along and be in position to help on the next one.
Against the Giants, he got a little overextended against Justin Tuck, who beat him for a pressure on a quick shake move. I only saw one time where he didn't get away from the line of scrimmage against the Falcons, and it created a pressure, but overall he did a good job of getting out of his stance and picking up the correct man.
Bernadeau played with a good base and foot work, but did have some plays where he was overextended, which caused him problems, but for the most part he plays on his feet. He showed the ability to get oustide on the pull for running plays and screens and was able to adjust in space. Bernadeau did get knocked off path one time against the Falcons when he pulled to the edge, but other times he was just fine when he had to find the target and finish the block.
He did a solid job on his reach and cut-off blocks. He moves well enough to have success when he is asked to do this, and can get to the second level to secure his block. Other than strength, the one other trait that Bernadeau has is his ability to move.
He did not play like a bust in his start against the Falcons, but I was more impressed with how he played against the Giants in the preseason game. Tuck got him one time and he was a little too high on his block of Linval Joseph but overall, not bad. I liked the awareness he showed to pass stunts and complete his blocks.
One of the problems the Cowboys' inside three had in 2011 was successfully handling the defense's inside games, which I thought was a strength of Bernadeau and is something that he can bring to this line. He is not totally perfect in the way he plays, but there is something to work with there.