The Case Against Kelvin Benjamin

Sam Greenwood

I am not high on Kelvin Benjamin. Are you?

There are many people here that have expressed interest in Kelvin Benjamin, the wide receiver out of Florida State University. I am not one of those people. In my opinion, Benjamin is raw, a project that will take a few years to adapt to the National Football League. I wouldn't touch him within the first few rounds, largely because the New York Jets are not in a position to wait around for another wide receiver to develop. Here are a few thoughts on why I'm opposed to Benjamin.

Name Age
Mike Evans 20
Sammy Watkins 20
Marqise Lee 22
Kelvin Benjamin 23
Allen Robinson 20
Odell Beckham, Jr. 21
Brandin Cooks 20
Davante Adams 21
Jordan Matthews 21
Jarvis Landry 21

As you can see, Benjamin is already the oldest receiver in the class. For someone who might take a few years to develop, this doesn't bode well. Furthermore, it isn't like Benjamin has an established history of excellence, where he can step in from Day 1. He has had two seasons in college, and his first was disappointing (30 receptions, 495 yards, 4 touchdowns). In contrast, his second year was excellent. It makes me incredibly nervous that he's had exactly one good year, and that was with the guy that won the Heisman Trophy throwing him the ball.

In my opinion, Benjamin will be fine off the bat in the red zone with his huge size and physicality. However, he will be almost useless between the 20s. He isn't elusive after the catch, and he has trouble running routes, which isn't aided by the fact that he seemingly jogs through them at half-speed.

It's difficult to evaluate intangibles without actually speaking to Benjamin, but the work ethic, concentration, and discipline just doesn't seem to be there with him. It starts with his sluggish routes, but his hands are a huge concern.

That is an extremely high drop rate, as anything above 6-7% is atypically high of a collegiate wide receiver.

Name Drop %
Mike Evans 4.29%
Sammy Watkins 4.49%
Marqise Lee 12.31%
Kelvin Benjamin 9.68%
Allen Robinson 5.43%
Odell Beckham, Jr. 6.43%
Brandin Cooks 4.69
Jordan Matthews 7.69%
Jarvis Landry 2.50%

As you can see, Benjamin has the second highest drop rate among the listed receivers, and is well above what is considered "typical" for someone at his position. However, that isn't where concerns about his discipline end.

Benjamin is perfect highlight reel fodder. He can make some circus catches, and has a tendency to do them in the end zone. But what that highlight reel doesn't show is between the 20s, where he struggles and is far from refined. There's no point in being good in the red zone if you can't get there, and the Jets aren't in a position where they can use a high pick on a red zone specialist and just hope he develops into a complete receiver.

I think Benjamin has the potential to be a great receiver, but certainly not from Day 1. It's going to take him time to get there, and time isn't on his side. For where the Jets are currently, he's just too big a risk to take in the first few rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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