The NFL draft is quickly approaching, and the Philadelphia Eagles have a lot of questions to answer about their depth chart. One of the lingering ones the Eagles have to answer is what they are going to do about their passing game.
Philadelphia had the second-best offense in the NFL last season. Along with the league’s best rushing attack, Philadelphia’s ninth-ranked passing game was one of the major reasons for the Eagles’ postseason run. Under breakout quarterback Nick Foles, the offense flourished. However, heading into this season, two extremely talented receivers, Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, are both set to test the free agent market.
If Philadelphia can’t retain either of them, receiver suddenly becomes a need for the Eagles, and Philadelphia may address this need in the draft. If the Eagles choose to do this, the best fit for them is Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
A redshirt sophomore, Benjamin had a breakout campaign with the Seminoles in 2013. He snagged in 54 passes for over 1,000 yards with 15 touchdowns. He is known as a hero to the Seminoles as he caught the game-winning touchdown in the BCS National Championship to secure the win for the Seminoles. Despite being a younger player, Benjamin was one of the main reasons Florida State even made their miraculous national championship run.
There are a few reasons why, as far as receivers go, he should be at the top of the Eagles’ draft board. First, his combination of size and speed is something Philadelphia hasn’t really had in a receiver ever. At 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, Benjamin would be a fast, possession receiver that the Eagles would need on the outside as a second receiver.
Having a physical receiver could help head coach Chip Kelly open up the playbook even more. There would be plenty of shorter routes that would open up if Benjamin was a receiving option for Philadelphia.
With his size, Benjamin would also be the best receiver available because of how NFL defenses are transitioning to bigger cornerbacks. With so many NFL teams looking for bigger, physical and faster cornerbacks, offenses will have to find tough receivers that can play with these bigger defensive backs. Benjamin has all the credentials to play with some of these better players. He would be one of the more suited players to battle with some of these bigger cornerbacks.
Also, thanks to his size, Benjamin can also make contributions as a run blocker. Even though Florida State was more known for its passing game with Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston, Benjamin has the size to be a run-blocking receiver. This can help even more with stretch plays and outside runs. The Eagles led the league in rushing last season. If they added a run-blocking receiver on the outside, the Eagles might not even have to throw the ball next season.
If Benjamin is on the board in the first round and Philadelphia has a void from free agency, the Eagles should draft him. As a national championship winner with Florida State, who knows, he could be the piece to lead Philadelphia to a championship of its own.