Position: Wide Receiver
Projected 40-Time: 4.48
Star Rating: Grade: 92
Draft Projection: 1st - 2nd Round
Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Scout.com Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:
85-100 = 1st - 2nd
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th
_55-69 = 5th - 6th
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA
Strengths: Benn is a strong, physical receiver who has the size/speed combination that creates a difficult matchup for the opposition. He gets a good release off the line, uses his strength to his advantage to separate from defenders and has the body control and vertical to pull in tough receptions. He uses the sidelines well, adjusts to errant throws and has a knack for the acrobatic. He excels over the middle, enjoys the physical part of the game, flashes sure hands and has the ability to take a short reception and turn it into a long gain. He runs with great balance and vision and is tough to bring down in the open field; he always keeps his legs moving. He's a willing blocker who does a good job of sealing the opposition during running situations. He's a tough competitor who's developed into a solid leader during his career.
Weaknesses: He lacks top end speed and isn't considered to be a downfield threat. He has a knack for the acrobatic, but tends to lose focus on catchable passes. He has to improve his route running and not round off so many of his routes. He doesn't consistently work for the quarterback and fight to come back to the ball. He has the build to be a tremendous downfield blocker, but has to give more effort.Steuber Says: A three-year starter at Illinois, Benn, who had a great freshman and sophomore campaign for the Fighting Illini, struggled this past season and only amassed 38 receptions for 490 yards and two touchdowns. At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Benn has the ability to be a No. 1 receiver at the next level. But it's his inconsistency that's frustrating to scouts, because you see the potential that he possesses. Benn ran better than anticipated at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he was timed at a surprising 4.48 in the 40. That time had to satisfy scouts that were worried about his deep speed, and it shows that he has that second gear to separate and make a difference downfield. Benn is a borderline first round selection and may attract interest from teams like the Dallas Cowboys (No. 27) and New York Jets (No. 29). But it's likely that he will fall into the second round where the St. Louis Rams (No. 33) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 35) will consider selecting him.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.