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Kelvin Benjamin Souting Report

Even though there's a thread discussing this player, I wanted to put together my attempt at a scouting report. I think there's little mystery about the fact that we'll be heavily focusing on the WR position. Baalke has shown that he identifies needs and then overloads on those in the draft. I think this year is no different. So what will it be? Possession guys with great hands like the ones we've already had success with (Landry)? A speedster to take the top off of defenses (Beckham)? A multi-threat piece to move around that can function in the open space and create huge plays (Cooks)? A big physical player that can develop into an every down #1 and compete for the ball regardless of coverage (Robinson, Benjamin)? Or just a technically sound, all around player like Jared Abbrederis? Chances are we'll take a few different players at the position. Right now, I want to take a look at one in particular, who wins largely based on size -- Kelvin Benjamin.

Overview This is the biggest WR I've ever seen. Throw him in a room with Gordon, TO, Megatron, Alshon, Marshall and Dez, and he'll be the biggest guy in that room. There are big players, and there is RARE size. He's got rare size. In fact, I can't recall a player of that size. Besides being big, this kid has shown that he can make plays. While still raw, and somewhat heavy in his routes, his ability to cover a ton of ground with each step, along with his strength helps him either get separation, or simply overpower a DB when the coverage is close. He's shown enough at the highest level of college football to make him very intriguing, and make you think that he can continue to develop at the next level. He's a big play waiting to happen, but also has the ability to move the chains, especially when lined up in the slot and matched up against a S. In the mold of guys like Megatron and TO, Benajmin has the ability to take over a game and simply overwhelm a secondary. If he becomes lazy in his development, Benjamin will still be able to win in the NFL, but not consistently and not against top competition. If he continues to improve, within a few years he can be an absolutely unstoppable force in this league. Maybe the most upside of any player at the position I've seen in a long time.

Positives
  • BIG. Massively big. Height, thickness, long legs, massive hands, enormous wingspan. He's to a WR what Yao Ming is to Centers. In college, he looked like a grown man playing against children.

  • Physical player who can wear down defenses. While sometimes slow to start off games, he's able to push a DB around so much that they simply wear down. There's only so long a 190lb CB can be attacked by someone with Benjamin's physicality, and keep his level of play.

  • Ability to make tough catches. While KB has had issues with dropping balls due to poor concentration, he's also shown the ability to make text-book, hands catches away from his body, even when heavily covered. (Florida 3:38)

  • Fast. Massive steps help him cover a lot of ground at once. Sort of Kaepernick-like (Florida 7:38)

  • Shows unbelievable potential as a blocker. While I wouldn't classify him as a good or consistent blocker, KB makes some blocks that will blow you away. I've seen him throw DBs aside like rag dolls, or send them flying 5 hards back. If he can find consistency as a blocker, he can impact a game this way as much as he can with his receiving. (Duke 2:00, Duke 7:37, BC 2:27, NC State 0:11, NC State 3:35)

  • Deep threat. He can find the ball in the air pretty well, he can catch over defenders, high-point the ball, get behind defenses, fight for the ball in traffic, and even shows some nice potential in running his deep routes. He's a big-play waiting to happen. (BC 0:22, BC 2:27, Florida 7:10, Florida 8:27, NC State 0:42)

  • A+ Redzone player. They don't really come much better built for the RZ. The same receiving skills mentioned above make him extremely dangerous in the red zone. Exception on the fade route. (Duke 3:05, Florida 9:30)

  • Effective lining up in the slot and going over the middle. Can box out a safety or corner and make chain-moving catches 5-10 yards deep, in the middle of the field. (Florida 4:06, Florida 5:23)

  • YAC. If he has a little bit of room in front of him, and a DB is trying to come down and tackle him, forget it. He'll run you over like you're not even there. Is able to keep his balance through contact and use his enormous stride to pick up additional yards. Can drag a defender a few yards while wrapped up. (Duke 6:27)

  • Swag. Not sure that this is official scouting terminology, but everyone has a good idea what this is. If he'll make big-time catches on you, he'll let you know. I appreciate that in a top-flight WR or CB.

  • Productive. This isn't purely a HSW prospect. Benjamin has had pretty good college production. As a freshman he came close to 500 yards w/ 4TDs, and as a sophomore topped 1,000 yards with 15TDs, tying him for the 3rd most in college football. He also snagged up a championship winning TD in the final seconds against Auburn. Stuff like that shouldn't go unnoticed. For more stats on him, check out this.

  • Has proven himself against NFL-caliber players over and over. He dominated the Florida secondary, comprised of guys who are expected to be drafted in the early-mid rounds this year and next. Did the same against future NFL defenders from Clemson, Duke (Cockrell), and Auburn.

Negatives
  • Drops the ball. While he's shown impressive hands with tough catches, he'll often drop an easy one (or a tough one). It's like watching TO out there. (Duke 7:00, Florida 0:35)

  • Inconsistent effort as a blocker. He'll throw a DB back five yards, become satisfied with that, and give up on the play. Way too often stands around after the initial contact, with the defender recovering and getting back into the play. (BC 1:07, NC State 3:35)

  • Not exactly quick or nimble. He's about as nimble as a guy his size can be. But as you'd imagine, that's only so nimble.

  • Makes too much contact often. There's physical and there's just being a bully. Some of his big plays have come on un-called PIs. If a ref wants to pick on him, he can flag him often. (Florida 5:45, Florida 6:03)

  • Raw.

  • Has more talent around him than the other teams. Could he be as effective when the talent is even?

  • Disappear for large chunks of games. Takes some time to really get started.

  • Already 23. Some have stated that this means he's reached his potential already. I don't see that, but as always, his age will be an issue.

Video Evidence

http://draftbreakdown.com/players/kelvin-benjamin/

Duke: http://draftbreakdown.com/video/kelvin-benjamin-vs-duke-2013/
Florida: http://draftbreakdown.com/video/kelvin-benjamin-vs-florida-2013/
BC: http://draftbreakdown.com/video/kelvin-benjamin-vs-boston-college-2013/
NC State: http://draftbreakdown.com/video/kelvin-benjamin-vs-north-carolina-state-2013/
Great read man, fully agree. Needs to clean up the contact. I think the reason why he disappears from games is because if he's the first read and doesn't get the ball he'll give up on the route, also doesn't seem to make the effort to get open if the play breaks down. I think that ties into his blocking issues too, just get's lazy, same with his drop problems. All because he is lazy doesn't focus enough. He's got a lot of talent, will demand double teams, but it's his work ethic, desire and focus that worries me.
Thanks for this! I really think the niners need to go after more than one WR so Benjamin is an intriguing prospect.
Originally posted by TheGoldDiggerrrr:
I think that ties into his blocking issues too, just get's lazy, same with his drop problems. All because he is lazy doesn't focus enough. He's got a lot of talent, will demand double teams, but it's his work ethic, desire and focus that worries me.

Agree with this. And with the way we develop WR's and the way we use our WR's this has bust written all over with us. Not saying another team but with us. We don't exactly go out of our way to get WR's involved and you will see us ignore our players for much of the game. Even guys like VD some games we won't attempt to get him the ball. It's like we are ok if a player gets taken out of the game or if we take them out of the game. Some guys need to get fed early and often to keep them in the game. Feed them early they can go for 100+ yards, feed them once and don't go out of your way to keep feeding them they will get 1 or 2 catches on the day and half ass blocking and everything else because of it. This is one reason I like a Landry or Abbrederis type because with our WR coaching, Roman and Kap we need guys who don't need to be coached up a lot and can come in and just produce. These guys will come in and block well which we expect. These guys have the heart. I'm not sure Benjamin has it or cares enough to be a star. He is boom or bust to me. If he goes to the right team, gets in better shape, starts trying harder he can be a super star. He goes to a team that doesn't use him enough, doesnt have the right coaches, doesnt have the right players around him, the right QB he busts. Maybe Landry and Abbrederis don't have star potential but the way we develop WRs we just need to hit even if it's a good solid #2 or 3 at their peak and not a super star. It's a question of do we want to go boom or bust with WR. Someone who could put us over the top or put us right back where we are, or do we want to go safe and get a solid hit with less potential.

Same goes for a guy with Cooks; we haven't shown the ability to use James in the right way would we use Cooks the right way? You have to find ways to get guys like that the ball in open space. Some times you have to force it but having a guy who can take it to the house every play helps. And Rollin, great job on a scouting report. This is how they should all be done. I'd have no problem with you doing more on WR's or CB's and starting a new thread even if there is a thread on them already. To me it's worthy of a new thread. That or just use this thread and list a bunch of scouting reports.
[ Edited by Gore_21 on Feb 16, 2014 at 7:25 AM ]
Awesome job. I would attribute any tendency to disappear to the sheer amount of weapons around him and Jimbo Fisher's predilection for spreading the ball around. Have to remember that this FSU offense was one of the most dominant in the history of college football. They didn't need to throw the ball to KB 10+ times a game. When they needed a play, Jameis went to KB time and time again and he came through virtually every single time.
[ Edited by JamesGatz83 on Feb 16, 2014 at 7:48 AM ]
That's good...the problem with Benjamin imo is what's going on upstairs.

And it will be a big factor in how he is as an NFL player imo. No question he has the physical tools to play in this league, so does Jon Baldwin. But does this kid have what it takes upstairs to come in, learn the offense and bust his ass? That's why it's so hard to be an NFL GM. Game tape only gives you so much.
Originally posted by Gore_21:
Originally posted by TheGoldDiggerrrr:
I think that ties into his blocking issues too, just get's lazy, same with his drop problems. All because he is lazy doesn't focus enough. He's got a lot of talent, will demand double teams, but it's his work ethic, desire and focus that worries me.

Agree with this. And with the way we develop WR's and the way we use our WR's this has bust written all over with us. Not saying another team but with us. We don't exactly go out of our way to get WR's involved and you will see us ignore our players for much of the game. Even guys like VD some games we won't attempt to get him the ball. It's like we are ok if a player gets taken out of the game or if we take them out of the game. Some guys need to get fed early and often to keep them in the game. Feed them early they can go for 100+ yards, feed them once and don't go out of your way to keep feeding them they will get 1 or 2 catches on the day and half ass blocking and everything else because of it. This is one reason I like a Landry or Abbrederis type because with our WR coaching, Roman and Kap we need guys who don't need to be coached up a lot and can come in and just produce. These guys will come in and block well which we expect. These guys have the heart. I'm not sure Benjamin has it or cares enough to be a star. He is boom or bust to me. If he goes to the right team, gets in better shape, starts trying harder he can be a super star. He goes to a team that doesn't use him enough, doesnt have the right coaches, doesnt have the right players around him, the right QB he busts. Maybe Landry and Abbrederis don't have star potential but the way we develop WRs we just need to hit even if it's a good solid #2 or 3 at their peak and not a super star. It's a question of do we want to go boom or bust with WR. Someone who could put us over the top or put us right back where we are, or do we want to go safe and get a solid hit with less potential.

Same goes for a guy with Cooks; we haven't shown the ability to use James in the right way would we use Cooks the right way? You have to find ways to get guys like that the ball in open space. Some times you have to force it but having a guy who can take it to the house every play helps. And Rollin, great job on a scouting report. This is how they should all be done. I'd have no problem with you doing more on WR's or CB's and starting a new thread even if there is a thread on them already. To me it's worthy of a new thread. That or just use this thread and list a bunch of scouting reports.

Couldn't agree more. I can easily see Kelvin failing with this team. He has high upside and potential but he is also one of the more raw WR prospects in the draft. I can see him succeeding and living up to his potential in New England - excellent WR coaching, offensive schemes that get the most out of their players, HOF QB in Brady throwing him the ball. It's would be a really good fit for him.

Anyone expecting Benjamin to be a star here with our weak WR coaching staff and HaRoman's play calling and offensive philosophy is seriously fooling themselves. Benjamin's probability of busting here is significantly higher than us making him into a super star caliber WR. Waste of a pick. Don't want to see him in red and gold for the sake of his pro career. Would rather pick up Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Landry, or Herron - not huge, flashy names but as polished and pro ready as they come.
Originally posted by genus49:
That's good...the problem with Benjamin imo is what's going on upstairs.

And it will be a big factor in how he is as an NFL player imo. No question he has the physical tools to play in this league, so does Jon Baldwin. But does this kid have what it takes upstairs to come in, learn the offense and bust his ass? That's why it's so hard to be an NFL GM. Game tape only gives you so much.

That's something to come out during interviews at the combine and with his past coaches--HS and FSU. Drops are correctable but I'm not going to knock him as he was a go to guy when it counted. A lot of guys disappear when the team needs them most.

Edit: didn't watch Baldwin in college...was he a go to guy? Or just a good player? First rounder though...so it's a good thing to compare.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Feb 16, 2014 at 8:03 AM ]
Originally posted by genus49:
That's good...the problem with Benjamin imo is what's going on upstairs.

And it will be a big factor in how he is as an NFL player imo. No question he has the physical tools to play in this league, so does Jon Baldwin. But does this kid have what it takes upstairs to come in, learn the offense and bust his ass? That's why it's so hard to be an NFL GM. Game tape only gives you so much.

That's why I called him Jon Baldwin 2.0. Great physical tools, tons of potential and upside, but has problems with drops, plus you gotta question if he has it all going on in the mental area of his game and is motivated enough to succeed. Like I said, I can see him succeeding on certain teams that instill discipline and have excellent schemes that can utilize his strengths (New England). Benjamin would waste away on the bench with this team.
Originally posted by NeonNiner:
That's why I called him Jon Baldwin 2.0. Great physical tools, tons of potential and upside, but has problems with drops, plus you gotta question if he has it all going on in the mental area of his game and is motivated enough to succeed. Like I said, I can see him succeeding on certain teams that instill discipline and have excellent schemes that can utilize his strengths (New England). Benjamin would waste away on the bench with this team.

Poor comparison. Baldwin didn't show any of the RAC ability or explosion that Benjamin has shown.

Plus, I bet the metrics show a relatively low drop rate for Benjamin. Granted Baldwin has never really had problems with drops either, aside from some comments from Andy Reid regarding supposed drops in camp. Baldwin's problem is an inability to separate. Benjamin has no such problem.
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
That's something to come out during interviews at the combine and with his past coaches--HS and FSU. Drops are correctable but I'm not going to knock him as he was a go to guy when it counted. A lot of guys disappear when the team needs them most.

Edit: didn't watch Baldwin in college...was he a go to guy? Or just a good player? First rounder though...so it's a good thing to compare.

Coaches at FSU have all spoken very highly of him. Jimbo Fisher has repeatedly gone out of his way to single him out for his effort and desire to improve.

Baldwin was a go-to guy, but he was essentially a jump-ball receiver. He never showed the separation or RAC ability that Benjamin has shown.
Originally posted by JamesGatz83:
Poor comparison. Baldwin didn't show any of the RAC ability or explosion that Benjamin has shown.

Plus, I bet the metrics show a relatively low drop rate for Benjamin. Granted Baldwin has never really had problems with drops either, aside from some comments from Andy Reid regarding supposed drops in camp. Baldwin's problem is an inability to separate. Benjamin has no such problem.

About a 9% drop rate. Compare that with around 2% for Jarvis Landry.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
About a 9% drop rate. Compare that with around 2% for Jarvis Landry.

Higher than I expected, even though he is prone to occasional lack-of-focus drops, but also have to take into account that he's not padding that drop rate with a million bubble screens.

Love Landry, but Benjamin caught 50% of his balls at 11+ yards. Landry only caught 38% of his at 11+.

Any numbers for other 2014 prospects?
[ Edited by JamesGatz83 on Feb 16, 2014 at 8:23 AM ]
Nevermind, I found them.





These numbers only tell you so much, though. For example, Jordan Matthews caught 112 balls and nearly half of them were on screens. That skews his drop rate downward.
[ Edited by JamesGatz83 on Feb 16, 2014 at 8:29 AM ]
Originally posted by JamesGatz83:
Coaches at FSU have all spoken very highly of him. Jimbo Fisher has repeatedly gone out of his way to single him out for his effort and desire to improve.

Baldwin was a go-to guy, but he was essentially a jump-ball receiver. He never showed the separation or RAC ability that Benjamin has shown.

Thanks!