Eno Benjamin Should Find A Backup Role (2020 NFL Draft)
Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
Weight: 207 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.57 seconds
Vertical Jump: 39.0 inches
Broad Jump: 122.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 6.97 seconds
In a running back class that’s full of talent, you’ll get guys like Benjamin who are somewhat overlooked. He’s a hard-nosed running back who showed the ability to handle a big workload. His 40-time may not have been great, but he posted the second-best time in the three-cone drill among running backs and had one of the best verticals.
He racked-up quite the mileage over the last two years, though. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he tallied 630 total touches. He also scored 30 total touchdowns, but that’s a lot of touches. His yards per carry dipped quite significantly during his junior season, too, as he finished averaged just 4.3 yards per carry. What was to blame? He was someone who had a 300-rushing-yard game under his belt in 2018, so we’ve seen his upside.
Here’s my detailed scouting report on Eno Benjamin (ratings out of five stars):
He gets the ball and wants to move downhill but then slows when he approaches the line of scrimmage/traffic. He does a great job of getting low as he approaches the line of scrimmage, but he dances too much while trying to shake defenders. It’s easy to critique his 4.3 yards per carry in 2019 but it’s also worth noting his offensive line did not create much room for him. Many believe that running backs with bad offensive lines have bad vision, and while Benjamin’s offensive line was bad, his vision wasn’t great when they did open holes, either. He needs to become more consistent in his approach and have a better pace when moving through traffic.
Elusiveness (twitch, juke, tackle-breaking)
Has solid balance through contact and will bounce off tacklers who don’t wrap up properly. He also has decent juke moves while moving through traffic. He’s not extremely elusive, but he’s not stiff, either. He makes too many moves trying to maneuver through traffic, which may look pretty on tape, but he’s not getting anywhere. All-in-all, he’s elusive for a running back who’s 207 pounds, but a lot of it is self-inflicted by poor vision.
He’s a bit small for early-down work and when you combine that with his below-average vision, you get a running back who’s stuck in a limited role. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have great speed to get much work as a change-of-pace running back, either. He’s what would be described as a tweener, which isn’t great for those seeking opportunity.
RATING: ⭐ 1/2
He needs to be more aware in pass-protection, as he’ll often stick to selling the play-fake rather than preventing his quarterback from getting destroyed. He’s more of a screen/leak out-type pass-catcher than a route runner who can line up all over the place, but his hands are good enough to not be a liability.
RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2
He’s just a depth chart player who you can use in a three-down role if you get into a pinch. He’s not a power-back, but he’s also not strictly a third-down back. He can play all three downs, which offers some versatility, even if he doesn’t excel in any area. He’d ideally fit in a man-scheme rather than a zone, as he’s not decisive enough for a one-cut system.
Projected Draft Spot
He’s someone who’ll last into Day 3 of the NFL Draft, as he’s not someone I project as a starter in the NFL. The best-case scenario for him is that he winds-up as the No. 2 on a depth chart, though he’s more likely a No. 3 and not someone who projects to get many touches his rookie season without injury ahead of him.
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