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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Around The Draft: Kelvin Benjamin

60 prospects, 60 days, a week to go.

Kelvin Benjamin might be the Cam Newton of receivers.

They share size (6'5, 240), speed (roughly 4.6), the combination of which is rare for the position (though the speed for both is clearly not the most top end). They're both long striders, both looking slow but getting upfield quickly - both are tough to stop and brought it all together for one pretty good season at the end of college.

 Benjamin, at first look, is a tremendously exciting prospect. You don't see size like that - and as a part of that, his arm length is ridiculously long (83" wingspan).   That's an unmatched catching radius.

Being a little slower in this offense - where beating someone deep isn't always just a matter of a flying 40 - is OK. But good routes are a must, and that's where the problems start for Benjamin. Imprecise routes and inefficient catching are problems.  Things like that would make Benjamin an easy to tell roleplayer, a guy who might be in there 10 snaps a game taking slants and comebacks.

Benjamin is a very intriguing X receiver who has also done good work in the slot. Carolina has some somewhat larger receivers, but nothing like this. Approaching his potential, Benjamin's the powerful player that makes Carolina's passing game go from bland to exotic, with the same plays. But how long do you have to teach him to get him there?

A successful Benjamin might be the type of player you can't match up against.  A slot corner against Benjamin?  Come on.  A linebacker?  The skill is a huge issue.  But Benjamin, it's hard to say what you get out of him in '14.  That's a consideration.  How long do you expect to wait to see that?

Benjamin's like nothing else out there.  He's the first player at WR that fits Hog Molly status.  It's unlimited potential - he can easily overcome issues with technique and experience.  But it's a major risk.

He's currently rated in the 35-50 range.  It's warranted, he's worth that.  But do you put a 28 pick in a guy who might require patience?
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