Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose St. (HT: 5’10¾”; WT: 195 lbs)
Fifth Round: 148th Pick
NFL Comparison: Leonard Johnson, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|40-yard dash||10-yard split||Vert||Broad||3-Cone||Shuttle|
- Decent height and weight, with his frame being muscular and not needing to add more strength at this time.
- Excellent leaper, which he demonstrated during games and at the NFL combine, where he posted an impressive 40.5’’ vertical. Not only can he jump with the best athletes at wide receiver, but he also has great timing when he jumps. He can highpoint the ball and steal it away from the offensive player.
- Recognizes plays well by keeping his eyes in the backfield for most of the play. This allows him to either break toward the line of scrimmage or retreat into coverage quickly. He isn’t great at play recognition, but he’s good enough for an incoming rookie to not be concerned.
- Has good spatial awareness, taking advantage of the nearby sideline whenever possible. Being able to work the sidelines is an important trait for a zone cornerback, which Benwikere should be in the NFL.
- Very good defender on deep routes when playing in off-man and Cover 3 zone, which allow him to read the quarterback and mitigates most speed discrepancies. By getting a 10-yard head start, he can focus on getting into position to play the ball and “box-out” the receiver.
- Good versatility after moving between the slot and boundary as a junior and senior. Although I believe he fits best as a boundary corner that can defend the sidelines, he can move inside at times.
- He was a major contributor as a special teams player. Coaches love rookies who want to play special teams, and he showed solid effort throughout his career in college.
- Stiff hips will limit the possibility of playing in man coverage consistently. He has trouble releasing from press-man because he cannot cut sharply with the receiver.
- His limited quickness and fluidity causes him to stay too far off in coverage, leaving him vulnerable to easy curl routes underneath. The defensive scheme could’ve been too vanilla, but he was not aggressive on underneath routes.
- Really lacks even average speed for an NFL defensive back. If he doesn’t have the cushion that zone provides, he struggles running with receivers.
- He had strong production, but he played poor competition, and most of his stats came against the worst teams. He often looked like just a guy (JAG).
- Technique needs to improve when mirroring a receiver downfield. He doesn’t stay on the hip of the receiver often. He will just trail the receiver and be in the area, but not close enough to make a play on the ball.
- Lacks arm length to be an effective press corner, with very short arms (in the fourth percentile).
- Struggled as a run defender. He couldn’t shed blocks against mediocre (at best) receivers and had issues finishing tackles when he was in the right position.
|2010||San Jose St||74||5||1|
|2011||San Jose St||18||4||1|
|2012||San Jose St||67||11||7|
|2013||San Jose St||55||11||5|
- All-WAC First Team in 2012
- Two-time WAC Defensive Player of the Week
- Graduating with a degree in sociology
- Twitter handle is @Benwik_CHOSEN1
Benwikere has some intriguing skills that generally translate well when those traits are good enough; skills such as eye-discipline, leaping ability and spatial awareness. Due to these skills, I think he can have success in a Cover 3 zone, or step into the slot and contribute.
Draft Projection: Fifth Round