With Hakeem Nicks gone to the Indianapolis Colts, the New York Giants have a hole at outside wide receiver opposite Rueben Randle. While Victor Cruz can be a more than adequate replacement there, he does most of his destructive damage in the slot. Today, let's look at one of the 2014 NFL Draft prospects who might be able to help the Giants in that regard, Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin
- Enormous size. Built like a tank at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds. Arm length at 34 7/8".
- Acceleration is very good for his size, he will be difficult to press
- Catch radius is a plus. He is big enough and has enough adjustment skills to catch a wide array of balls thrown in his direction.
- Very good blocker. Drives with his legs and can open up some big holes downfield.
- Hustles big time, doesn't dog it on any routes that I saw him run.
- I still question his overall physicality. People remember him outfighting the Auburn defender to win the BCS title game. However, that Auburn defender was Chris Davis who is 5-foot-8. I don't see him in the same class as a Mike Evans when it comes to fighting off defenders.
- Poor straight line speed leads to most of his targets being contested.
- Unpolished route runner. Doesn't have that wiggle and can't plant his foot into the ground, change direction, and accelerate like you'd want to.
- Don't expect too much YAC from him.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Yes. He's a big, powerful target for Eli Manning. Having him outside essentially as a tight end-sized pass catcher is an obvious mismatch for any corner under 6 feet. He's not quite the prospect that I feel most had him pegged out to be early on, but he's still a dangerous outside threat. He'd fit right in to give Manning a weapon.
Kelvin Benjamin vs Boston College (2013) (via Aaron Aloysius)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 37
Mocking The Draft - 35
CBS Sports - 32
Draft Countdown - 31
Draft Tek - 43
You see a very consistent scatter with these rankings. Most all of them have Benjamin at the very end of Round 1 into Round 2. I still don't see him as a first-round player, and have him being overtaken by Watkins, Evans, Lee, Beckham Jr, Cooks, and possibly even guys like Davante Adams. I don't see the same level of physicality that I see with Mike Evans and that makes me hesitant to fall in love with a guy that runs in the 4.5-4.6 range as a wide receiver.
That being said, he's plenty talented and I think that draft range is the right range. Look for him to come off the board in the 40-45 area, and don't be surprised if he's the pick at No. 43. Everybody knows Manning could use a large target on the edge.