He has the ideal physicality and mentality of an NFL defensive back. Now he just needs to prove that he can do it on a consistent level.
Coming out of Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Bernstine was a four-star recruit, with offers from multiple powerhouse programs.
When healthy, he lived up to the hype, settling into a starting role at strong safety his senior season, after overcoming a rash of injuries and position changes.
Finally healthy, Bernstine thinks he's a better man for the adversity.
"I had to dig deep and learn to focus on getting back to where I needed to be, to play at a high level," he said. "Learning how to overcome injuries made me a better person and athlete."
Bernstine started 11 games for the Hawkeyes last season, and recorded 89 tackles, three for a loss, a sack and fumble recovery.
Despite his strong performance, he was not invited to the NFL Combine. Focusing his energies on Iowa's Pro Day, Bernstine got recognition as a Combine snub and a fast-riser for the draft.
After the Redskins selected him with their final pick (217th overall), Bernstine made it clear that he's willing to do anything to get on the field.
"I can play strong or free safety, but I'm willing to do whatever," he told the media on a conference call. "They like that I have size and athletic ability, and that I like to hit people."
In order for Bernstine to make a crowded roster in the secondary, he will need to perform well on defense and special teams. He had experience at Iowa both in kick returns and special teams coverage.