Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) catches a pass for a touchdown as Auburn Tigers cornerback Chris Davis (11) tackles during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks 2014 NFL Draft Profiles, Wide Receivers: Kelvin Benjamin vs. Brandin Cooks


With a little more than 24 hours until the 2014 NFL Draft, front offices across the country are scrambling to finalize their big boards. Among them, John Schneider and Pete Carroll are shoring up what hopes to be yet another successful draft.

With the departure of Golden Tate, the Hawks may need another electrifying WR to pair alongside Percy Harvin. Preferably, they want to take a big, tall receiver with efficient red-zone capabilities. While the receiving core emerged in the playoffs, it has only two key members above 6 feet (Jermaine Kearse at 6’1’’ and Sidney Rice at 6’4’’).

Kelvin Benjamin

Measurables-

Height- 6’5’’

Weight- 240 lbs

Arm Length- 34 7/8’’

Hands- 10 ¼’’

 

Combine Stats-

4.61 sec

13

32.5 in

119 in

7.33 sec

4.39 sec

40 Yd Dash

Bench Press

Vert Jump

Broad Jump

3 Cone Drill

20 Yd Shuttle

 

Overview- The Florida State wideout is an incredible physical specimen, hand down. Benjamin left FSU after his red-shirt sophomore season, but not after recording 54 receptions, 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns, which led the NCAA in 2013. With this kind of red-zone threat, the Hawks could utilize his skills the same way they had envisioned Mike Williams (6-foot-5, 242 pounds) to in 2010.

What the experts are saying at NFL.com…

Strengths- Possesses rare size with an 83-inch wingspan. Is a physical mismatch vs. defensive backs and linebackers. Eats cushion and separates with long strides. Strong approach to the ball — is not easily knocked off course and will enter the middle on crossers. Outstanding jumpball catcher — climbs the ladder, plucks the ball at its highest point and regularly snatches it out of the air with superb body control and the grace of a ballerina. Creates separation with his body. Adjusts surprisingly well for the low ball and tracks it well over his shoulder. Energetic football demeanor. Confident and competitive. Strong-handed. Uses his body well to shield the defender from the ball and can beat double coverage. Good run strength after the catch (see three tackles broken on TD run vs. Florida) and does not go down easy. Strong enough to handle defensive ends when motioned inside to chip and delivered some head-snapping, crackback blocks (see N.C. State). Emerged as a clutch, go-to, big-play receiver — caught the game-winning TD in the national championship game vs. Auburn and consistently was targeted in critical situations and in the red zone. Scorched Florida CB Loucheiz Purifoy and created mismatch problems from the slot.

Weaknesses- Lacks elite, top-end speed and many catches are contested. Hand use could improve releasing vs. tight, press coverage. Overly grabby. Is not yet a nuanced route runner and does not sink his hips and pop in and out of his breaks. Does not shake many defenders after the catch. Will make the easy concentration drop and focus could stand to improve at the break point (three drops vs. Florida). Seeks to run before securing the ball and double-catches more than he should. Blocking effort/sustainability has room to improve on the move. Has a 32 1/2-inch vertical jump and recorded the slowest 60-yard shuttle time (12.10 seconds) of any receiver at the combine.

Bottom Line- A tight end-sized, intimidating, big-play receiver with a rare wingspan, Benjamin has the overall strength, length and wide catching radius that will demand extra coverage be rolled his way. Showed continual improvement, is still growing into the position, and possesses the traits to become a legitimate No. 1 receiver. A very intriguing mismatch weapon with ascending talent.

Brandin Cooks

Measurables-

Height- 5’10’’

Weight- 189 lbs

Arm Length- 30 ¾’’

Hands- 9 5/8’’

 

Combine Stats-

4.33 sec

16

36 in

120 in

6.76

3.81 sec

40 Yd Dash

Bench Press

Vert Jump

Broad Jump

3 Cone Drill

20 Yd Shuttle

Overview- Percy Harvin registered a 40 time of 4.41 seconds. Imagine what 4.33 seconds would look like across the field. The Oregon State man brings blazing fast speed and durability to the table, making him an attractive potential pick for the Hawks. In 2013, Cooks was given the Biletnikoff Award (given to the nation’s top receiver) and recorded 128 receptions and 1,730 yards. If Percy Harvin could stay healthy, he would look something like Brandin Cooks.

What the experts at NFL.com are saying…

Strengths- Light on his feet with terrific balance. Sinks his hips with ease and pops out of breaks to separate. Tracks and adjusts. Quick hands. Good concentration, body control and boundary awareness. Can turn a short throw into a long gain. Shows elusiveness, creativity and vision after the catch. Unafraid to play in the tall trees. Highly productive — totaled 195 receptions for 2,881 yards (15.4-yard average) and 21 TDs in last two seasons. Confident and competitive. Has been exceptionally durable dating back to high school. Team captain. Will be a 21-year-old rookie.

Weaknesses- Size is just adequate — is small-framed and lacks ideal length and bulk. Vulnerable to the jam and reroute. Relatively small catch radius. Has small hands and double-catches some throws. Lacks elite, blazing speed to run by NFL corners and safeties. Will struggle to play “above the rim” at the next level. Was not an impactful punt returner. Limited run strength. Poor blocker.

Bottom Line- Short, speedy, nifty-footed receiver who was unaffected by the departure of Steelers 2013 third-rounder Markus Wheaton, establishing himself as a playmaker in his own right by leading the nation with 133 yards per contest as a junior. Projects as a useful slot receiver with run-after-catch ability and some utility as an outside receiver.

 

Who the Seahawks Take

Though Pete Carroll loves the idea of paring two speed demons together (Percy Harvin and Brandin Cooks), the Hawks need someone who can finish the play now that Golden Tate is in Detroit. Kelvin Benjamin is just that, a big-bodied receiver who will go up and attack the ball at its highest point, bring it down and find the end zone.

Pick- Kelvin Benjamin

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Seahawks Seattle Seahawks

  • Ron Grummer

    I see a lot of highlight reel stuff about Benjamin’s matchup with 5’11″ Auburn CB Davis. not sure that this should be used as a proper comparison of Benjamin’s skill against NFL CBs