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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
NC State: http://draftbreakdown.com/video/kelvin-benjamin-vs-north-carolina-state-2013/