Kelvin Benjamin Reportedly Will Declare for 2014 NFL Draft

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2014

USA Today

Florida State redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin reportedly will declare for the 2014 NFL draft, according to Palm Beach Post reporter Tom D'Angelo.

Breaking: Source close to Kelvin Benjamin confirms #FSU receiver will enter NFL draft.

— Tom D'Angelo (@tomdangelo44) January 10, 2014

The 6'5", 234-pound playmaker is coming off a breakout season with the BCS national champion Seminoles: He caught 54 passes for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown against Auburn in the BCS title game with 13 seconds remaining.

Benjamin is one of the top receivers set to enter this year's draft class, drawing comparisons to Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson thanks to his massive frame. As Benjamin said prior to the BCS championship, per's Dan Greenspan, "When I first came out of high school, they were like 'You could be a baby Megatron.' I always looked up to him."

Nov 30, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) runs in a touchdown as Florida Gators defensive back Brian Poole (24) defends during the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitc
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports's Chris Burke believes the 22-year-old Belle Glade, Fla., native has the talent to make some serious noise at the next level:

Improving his consistency will be a focus for Benjamin moving forward. Assuming there are no unforeseen slips, however, the future is extremely bright for Benjamin as a physical receiver.

ESPN Insider (subscription required) has Benjamin rated as a first-round prospect and the fifth-best wide receiver available in 2014, ranking him alongside dynamic talents like Clemson's Sammy Watkins, USC's Marqise Lee and Texas A&M's Mike Evans.

While Rashad Greene led the Seminoles in both receptions and yards in 2013-14, Benjamin led the team in receiving touchdowns and yards per reception, averaging nearly 19 yards per catch. Only 15 receivers in college football finished the season with a higher average.

Those numbers speak to Benjamin's big-play ability, which will likely be a huge reason why he comes off the board early this spring.

Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) catches a touchdown pass over Auburn Tigers cornerback Chris Davis (11) during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl.  Mandator
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

When you combine Benjamin's knack for making the big play with the physicality that Burke mentioned, it's likely NFL teams anxiously awaited his draft announcement.

On the other hand, it remains to be seen how reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Florida State will perform in 2014 without their star receiver. The Seminoles finished the year ranked 14th nationally in passing offense and second in scoring offense. But keep in mind that Benjamin accounted for 25 percent of Winston's passing yards and nearly 38 percent of his passing touchdowns.

For now, though, you can anticipate Benjamin will have his name called early in the draft this coming May.


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