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Kelvin Benjamin NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Panthers WR

Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin catches the game-winning touchdown pass during the second half of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Auburn Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press
Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State (HT: 6'5", WT: 240 lbs)

Carolina Panthers

First Round: 28th Pick

NFL Comparison: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmsHands
605024034 7/8"10 1/4"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-Yard Dash10-Yd SplitVerticalBroad Jump3-Cone DrillShuttle
4.611.6632.5"9'11"7.334.39
NFL.com

Positives

  • Rare combination of height, strength and speed gives him the potential to develop into a true No. 1 receiver.
  • Size will require defenses to specifically game plan for his skill set. 
  • Once he refines his technique, undersized cornerbacks will struggle to contain him in man coverage, which will require defenses to pay extra attention to him with safeties over the top.
  • His raw talent is the type that every position coach would love to have the opportunity to develop.
  • Long arms, big hands and impressive leaping ability give him an edge in every jump ball situation.
  • When he learns better body control and how to adjust to the ball, his catch radius will rival any receiver in the league.
  • Takes long strides and his straight-line speed is elite for a receiver of his size.
  • Possesses the strength to break tackles and often requires multiple defenders to bring him down.
  • Has experience lining up in the outside and in the slot, although his strength as a possession receiver is best utilized on the outside. 
  • His tight end sized frame gives him potential to develop into a quality blocker down the field.

 

Negatives

  • Not very elusive after the catch.
  • Straight-line speed is good for his size, but he lacks elite agility which limits his ability to make defenders miss.
  • Poor field awareness, which hinders nearly every aspect of his game.
  • Struggles with his body control when adjusting to the ball, especially when trying to get into position to make a contested catch.
  • Needs to learn how to use his size to shield defenders.
  • Inconsistent approach to catching the ball, which leads to some bad drops.
  • Lets the ball come into his body too often rather than extending his hands to secure the ball.
  • Also has a bad habit of turning his head to look downfield before securing the ball, which leads to drops.
  • Doesn't know how to get open when the play breaks down.
  • Has a tendency to run his route, and then stand around.
  • Needs to learn how to read the defense, especially when facing zone, and find a way to get open when the initial play breaks down.
  • Struggled to get on the same page of Jameis Winston at times.
  • Has a tendency to be overly physical with defensive backs which will lead to more penalties at the next level.

 

Collegiate Statistics
YearTeamRecYardsYds/RecTD
2012Florida State3049516.54
2013Florida State54101118.715
http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/_/id/514119/kelvin-benjamin

Personal Notes

  • Only played three years of high school football. 
  • Ranked No. 8 overall wide receiver recruit by Rivals
  • Turns 23 years old in February.

Ratings Chart

Chart created at nces.ed.gov

 

Overall

Benjamin is extremely talented, but he has a long way to go before reaching his full potential. He has admitted to lapses in focus and credits his improved maturity to his breakout 2013 season. But even during this past season he consistently failed to show field awareness and demonstrated numerous flaws in his technique.

He is certainly capable of developing into the next Brandon Marshall or Plaxico Burress, but he is equally capable of turning into the next Devin Thomas if he doesn't work hard to take full advantage of his physical ability. 

Draft Projection: 1st-2nd round

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