Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin attracted a lot of attention from NFL front offices at the Seminoles’ pro day last week. Many NFL teams have been keeping tabs on Benjamin ever since he declared early for the 2014 draft.
When he first declared, he was considered to be drafted very late during the first round. At the 2014 Scouting Combine, Benjamin ran a 4.61 second 40-yard dash, which concerned many teams. Many analysts want to view him as a possible elite wide out one day in the pros, but due to his average showing at the Combine, it appears Benjamin has opened up questions about his speed.
At the Florida State pro day in Tallahassee last week, many scouts were eager to see Benjamin run, however, he chose not to. He essentially asked NFL scouts to view his massive frame and fairly illustrious body of work to prove that he has the makeup of a first round pick. Benjamin dominated the position drills and while running routes, he showcased his ability to catch the football at its highest point and make the types of catches most NFL receivers can’t.
Due to his physical intangibles, Benjamin’s upside will mean that he will simply have to take reps and work on his techniques such as adjusting his body in tight man-to-man coverage. He’ll draw comparisons to a player like Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who has a similar body type. Jeffery was selected in the second round by the Bears, who showed faith in Jeffery to take his reps and develop his game in his rookie season before breaking out in a big way last season.
Benjamin should have the same career trajectory as Jeffery in the sense that he will absolutely use his size to become an elite receiver in the NFL, but it will take some time for that to happen.
Fantasy football owners should still pay attention to Benjamin when preparing for the 2014 fantasy football draft. As mentioned before, he won’t become a WR-1 immediately, but he could be a very sneaky pick up in 2014. Fantasy owners should consider Benjamin as a WR-4 with plenty of upside, heading into this year. Whichever team ends up drafting him in May, will gain a hulking red-zone threat that who could put up somewhere around five touchdowns and a couple hundred yards in his rookie year. Those approximate numbers won’t pop off the page at you, but those are decent numbers to have from a bench player, so he would be worth using a late draft pick on.