6’2, 220 pounds | Wide receiver | Illinois
Agility: Only decent agility. Hips look a bit stiff when he changes direction. Benn is mostly a power wide receiver in the Terrell Owens mold. Doesn’t have the quickness to juke defenders in the open field.
Blocking: This is an area where Benn excels. He’s said he really likes to block and can really bully cornerbacks. When the run isn’t coming to his side, he doesn’t always give a great effort in this area.
Body control: Benn is really, really good in this area. He’s a strong receiver and uses that strength when he’s in the air to get deceptive separation. Doesn’t lose his balance when he’s running his routes.
Hands: This is where Benn needs to improve. His pass-catching technique is poor and he often catches the ball in his frame. Likes to have the ball placed in a certain spot and doesn’t make many catches away from his body. Cradle catches too often. Drops too many easy receptions.
Release: Benn was rarely jammed at the line because teams played off coverage to avoid his power at the line. Has quick feet, which he utilizes off the line. Takes very few false steps at the line. Played a good deal out of the slot.
Route running: Struggles some in his route running. Not very crisp into and out of his cuts. Ran a lot of simple routes – 10-yard digs, simple crossing patterns and short posts. At his best against the zone where he can just find a hole and sit in it. Gets good separation using a head fakes.
Size: Benn has excellent size for a wide out with very good strength. He uses this strength in the open field to break tackles. Already has NFL strength and long arms.
Speed: Benn’s straight-line speed is very good. But he has some trouble getting up to that speed because he slows down a lot when moving laterally. Once Benn gets into the open field, however, he’s hard to track down.
Vision: Uses his power really well in the open field. Can break a lot of arm tackles. This helps make up for some issues he has making defenders miss in the open field.
Final word: Benn is somewhat of an enigma as a wide receiver. The first thing you notice about Benn is his impressive size, strength and speed. He’s also a very tough receiver who will go over the middle and is a solid blocker.
However, the more you watch Benn and the more you’ll see his flaws shine through. His hands are only average and he needs to improve his catching mechanics. Benn will also require a good wide receivers coach who can show him to run a greater variety of routes.
While some of Benn’s down 2009 season can be blamed on the Illinois quarterback play and an early season ankle sprain, that’s not all of it. Benn never did a great job of adjusting to poorly thrown passes or working hard for the ball when it was in the air.
In three seasons, he finished with 159 catches for 2,221 yards and seven touchdowns. Also used a gadget running back and returned kicks.