Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin officially declared for the draft today.
It’s not a total surprise. He had to re-sit two grades in school and will be a 23-year-old rookie. Time wasn’t on his side.
Having also won a National Championship this year, there was little reason to return to FSU.
We’ve talked a lot about Benjamin. Physically he’s incredible — 6-5, 235lbs and moves well for his size. It’s no wonder he was reportedly given a first round grade by the draft committee.
Yet there are major concerns.
Kelvin Benjamin concedes he has worked on and will continue to work on focus and consistency as well as maturity.
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 10, 2014
The consistency part is a big one.
At times he looks great — ploughing through tackles, breaking off big plays and looking every bit a future #1 receiver.
But for every eye-catching touchdown — there’s a horrendous drop. A lousy effort. A sloppy route or a mental error.
This is the kind of thing I’m talking about…
Receiver is one of the positions in this game where you can’t afford to coast. You need to be switched on every play.
I’ll say it again — you need to be pissed off for greatness.
That’s where Benjamin falls short.
So we can crown him as a high pick for the athletic upside, but we need to counter that with the improvements he has to make to be a great player at the next level.
For me he’s a late first round pick or second round selection.
If he is a first rounder, he could be one of many.
Potential first-round picks (7): Watkins, Lee, Evans, Allen Robinson of Penn State, Brandon Coleman of Rutgers, Brandin Cooks of Oregon State.
It isn’t likely that all six, plus Benjamin now that he has declared, will go in the first. But each of them merits consideration according to at least one NFL front-office man. Watkins figures to go first in the top 10. Lee and Evans won’t be far behind. One high-ranking front-office man has Robinson pegged to go somewhere in the 15-20 range. Coleman is expected to go later in the first, said a national scout, and Cooks is a borderline first- or second-round prospect.
Personally I’d also throw Odell Beckham Jr into the first round mix (Pompei has him in round two).
Allen Robinson is a tough one to work out considering his role at Penn State where he was mostly used as a YAC specialist. Yet has the height and speed to be a more rounded receiver.
It’s reassuring to see others view Brandon Coleman the same way I do. If he is touted as a late first rounder, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be on Seattle’s radar.
Again — we need to consider the issues within the Rutgers offense before judging him too harshly.
Not many people can do what Coleman can do. With some technical coaching and a better quarterback, he could easily be another Josh Gordon.
Yes — he can make more of his height. He needs to do a better job of high pointing the football. This is teachable, though. What isn’t teachable is a 6-6, 220lbs receiver running away from defensive backs.
It’s a good year to go after after a wide out. And as things stand, that could be the best option for Seattle.
There’s going to be plenty of options.
Perhaps increasing the likelihood of a first round receiver is the diminishing number of offensive tackles on the market. Cameron Erving, La’el Collins and Cedric Ogbuehi all announced they wouldn’t be turning pro in 2014.
This should have a positive impact on players like Zach Martin and Antonio Richardson.
We’ll have the usual rush on offensive tackles early. But there are a lot of teams later on who need offensive linemen too (in particular Miami and Arizona). With the Seahawks guaranteed to pick between #28-32 overall, a lot of the top prospects will be long gone.
Perhaps this increases Seattle’s desire to keep Breno Giacomini? It’d take some doing, considering his +$4m salary in 2013. If he’s willing to compromise ($2.5-3m?), and they make savings elsewhere, they can make this a much less pressing concern.