Steelers Prospect Watch: Kelvin Benjamin

FF663860-0421-4D66-909D-2935C96D7785_w640_r1_s_cx0_cy5_cw0At this point in the off-season there’s not much going on other than a steady ramp-up to the draft in early May.

I’m sure we will get some nuggets here or there on contracts and roster moves, but to fill in the lull in activity I’ve decided to highlight some guys I think have potential to end up in the black and gold.

I’m starting with the guy I mocked to the Steelers at #15 in my first mock of the year, Florida State’s behemoth wide receiver; Kelvin Benjamin.

Gerry Dulac, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicated last week that the Steelers have told Ben they will get him a big target in the early rounds.

I could see that being a number of guys including Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, or even a TE like Eric Ebron… but none of those guys can match Benjamin’s combination of size and speed.

When I watch Benjamin, I see all of the physical qualities you want in a receiver. He’s obviously strong, hard to jam at the line, he knows how to use his body and go up and pluck the ball out of the air, and is deceptively fast when he gets going.

He does have some lapses in concentration where he’ll drop catch-able balls. There’s been guys in the NFL that drop balls but make so many big plays that you live with it (Terrell Owens and Brandon Marshall come to mind).

Antonio Brown and Heath Miller have great hands, so the Steelers could afford to take a guy that might drop a few… Emmanuel Sanders had plenty of drops this season and can’t make the type of splash plays that Benjamin can.

I’m not comparing Benjamin to Megatron, but he is nearly un-coverable in the red-zone, much like Calvin Johnson.¬†When you have a guy that’s already 6’6″ with jumping ability and some long arms, he’s able to get a ball that’s 10 or 11 feet in the air.

Watkins, Evans, and Lee are more polished receivers, but Benjamin might have the highest ceiling out of all of them. I’d take Watkins over anyone, but he could go in the top 5, and you could maybe talk me into Evans over Benjamin, but I’m hearing the Lions really like him (and hold the 10th pick).

After those two, Benjamin is the top receiver in my mind, and right now, the guy I want at #15.

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7 comments on “Steelers Prospect Watch: Kelvin Benjamin

  1. Totally agree, i personally think the same way about him and evans, yea both aren’t good route runners but they have what you cant teach and thats their height, i doubt any other reciever in the draft will grow now to later on in thier career, so i believe benjamin or evans is the best pick the steelers can make at 15, and of course the last thing we need is them going to some else in the division, and even with the needs on defense, theres so much talent we could pick up in later rounds that we can afford a player maker on the offense with the first pick

    • If it came down to Evans vs. Benjamin, I guess it comes down to the safer pick, or the potential bigger boom. One thing to keep in mind is Benjamin is a whole 1.5 years younger than Evans.

      I see the argument for going D in round 1. My thought is even if it’s Clowney, no 1 player will fix our defense. One player could essentially “finish” our offense. Ben, Bell, Heath, Brown, Benjamin, and Wheaton is potentially a VERY dangerous and dynamic offensive attack… Which means not as much pressure on the D.

      I say go offense round 1, and defense essentially the rest of the draft.

      • Yes I whole heartedly agree, our offense is on the brink of becoming elite and we need someone to grab those 50 50 balls and our small recievers, no disrespect to them, but they dont have that jump ball ability and I mean there still great players avaliable after the first round, I feel like steeler nation believes that our first round pick is our only pick and want it solely on defense, bit if you look we can get ed Reynolds fs the hard hitting ball hawk in the 2nd round pierre desir jean baptiste the lenghty cbs in the 3rd and justin ellis the space eater in the 4th all answers to our defense needs and all non first picks and the rest of the pick id say go for depth purposes like a back up de, olb, ot, te or rb

  2. This is what I like to read these days. I’ve seen both Matthews and Robinson play but I just don’t get the same feeling when I see guys like Lee, Evans or Watkins. Steelbydesign is right when it comes to the D. Most people seem to have this idea that by taking a ILB or a CB or a DE or NT that it will fix this D it won’t and you know that. Just and FYI on Denard of Michigan State- reports on Denard is that there not entirely sold on him. By that I mean they see a guy who is to grabby, to handsy and maybe prone to PI penalties. If there is one Defensive guy I would want other Hageman it would be Joyner of FSU. I like this kid a lot now if other don’t that’s fine but I just get the sense from seeing him a little bit that he can be that hybrid CB/S in the Steeler Defense. The Steelers don’t go vertical with there TE’s and that is from watching Miller and there other guys. Miller is Ben’s safety blanket and Redzone target. Look at some the passes thrown Miller’s way. When you look at those passes how many times did you see the pass go over 20 yards downfield or that he broke a long one such as a guy like Gronk? A tall WR would make Ben happy but if it’s Watkins I highly doubt that Ben would be mad with that pick. Would you guys be mad if it’s him they pick? I know I won’t.

  3. Hey Steelbydesign, you mentioned that one of the factors in taking Benjamin over Evans is that Benjamin is “a whole 1.5 years younger than Evans”, which I agree is a factor, but isnt it the other way around? could be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that Evans is only 20 years old!

  4. On Kelvin Benjamin: Several months back I was reading that Benjamin was not a particularly great route runner, and often played only when he wanted to play. I have not seen any of that recently. Any feedback from you guys in the know??

    • I’m in the process of watching him and Mike Evans this weekend. I put Evans ahead of Benjamin slightly because he has better hands but I will also tell you his immaturity and lack of finishing blocks worries me. Once I watch more of Benjamin I will get back to you.

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