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NFL Draft 2014: Kelvin Benjamin prospect profile

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We scout Kelvin Benjamin, former wide receiver of the Florida State Seminoles.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Down in Tallahassee, Florida this past season, the Florida State Seminoles put together a perfect year en route to a National Championship. The team produced a Heisman winner in quarterback Jameis Winston, and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was a big reason why Winston snagged the trophy. Benjamin was a nightmare for opposing defenses, racking up 15 touchdowns in 2013. That number would have been a lot higher if Florida State wasn't blowing teams out by halftime. Benjamin appears to be a near lock as a first round choice.

The Basics

Name: Kelvin Benjamin
College: Florida State
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 240 lbs
Vertical: 32.5 inches
Forty Yard Dash: 4.61
Three Cone: 7.33
Bench Reps: 13

Pros
  • Physical with the ability to shed press coverage
  • Good burst off the line, enabling him to gain separation
  • Better than advertised route runner. Benjamin knows when to cut a route short or make it a hair longer.
  • At 6'5", he's a serious red zone threat
  • Lanky arms (34 7/8")
  • Clutch. He caught the game winning touchdown in the National Championship with just seconds left.
  • Hard to tackle, leading to big yards after the catch.
  • Just 4% body fat at 240 pounds!
  • Makes spectacular catches, leaping high in the air and making it nearly impossible for a defender to high point the ball as Benjamin.
Cons
  • Drops easy catches where he is wide open. This is due to him already being ready to run after the catch. This is correctable
  • Improvement could be made in assessing zone coverages
  • Not the best hand catcher and makes too many body catches.
  • Stiff hips from time to time
Do Your Homework

Why He Fits The 49ers

The 49ers have some teams in their division who have physical man-press cornerbacks. The 49ers could use a receiver that can throw a cornerback like Richard Sherman around if need be, and Benjamin could give them that. While Benjamin isn’t a burner, he can still stretch the field, and having a receiver with that ability that is tall and strong could be a good option for the 49ers. He would be an immediate red zone threat with enough speed to create separation, while also being deadly on back-shoulder passes.

Why He Doesn’t Fit The 49ers

Drafting Benjamin would require the 49ers to draft him in the first round. With such a deep draft class at the wide receiver position, the 49ers could utilize their first round choice on a cornerback or other position instead. Donte Moncrief, Jordan Matthews, and other good options could be there in round two. At age 23, with some rawness still to his game, I’m not sure if he’s a fit. There are other younger options with similar upside that could be available in round two.

What They Are Saying

- NFL Films guru Greg Cosell believes Benjamin is a better and more explosive prospect than Mike Evans.

- Benjamin weighed in at 242 pounds at his pro day, which is about seventeen more pounds than what NFL teams would like to see him weigh.

- Check out his stats at cfbstats.com

Conclusion

Benjamin could become a difference-maker in the NFL and emerge as a star number one receiver. Sometimes, myself included, we get caught up in measurables and combine performances. Benjamin has tremendous measurables, but he also has skill to go along with it. His forty time may not be of the blazing variety, but he plays fast on film, and gaining separation isn't an issue with this prospect. It all boils down to whether the 49ers would be interested in drafting a wide receiver in the first. If they decide to go that route, Benjamin will be one of the better choices possibly available.