Why I Wouldn’t Take Eno Benjamin In Dynasty Rookie Drafts
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Eno Benjamin
Eno Benjamin Dynasty Rookie Analysis
- Position: RB | School: Arizona State
- Height: 5’9″ | Weight: 207 pounds
- 40-yard dash: 4.57 seconds
- 2020 Age: 21 | Class: Junior
- Recruitment Stars: 4
- Projected Draft Rounds: 3-4
In the vernacular of Larry David, Benjamin is a yo-yo. An inverse yo-yo.
At the combine, he weighed in at a respectable 207 pounds, but just a month before at the Senior Bowl, he weighed in at a terrifying 195 pounds.
With his combine measurements, he can be compared to guys like LeSean McCoy (5-foot-10 and 208 pounds), Devonta Freeman (5-foot-8 and 206 pounds) and Felix Jones (5-foot-10 and 207 pounds, per the RotoViz Combine Explorer).
With his Senior Bowl measurements, we’re talking about guys like Kenjon Barner (5-foot-9 and 196 pounds), Kerwynn Williams (5-foot-8 and 196 pounds) and maybe Steve Slaton (5-foot-9 and 197 pounds) — but all of those guys were significantly faster.
Put simply: If Benjamin plays at his combine weight, he might be a lead back, even with his subpar speed. Slow-ish 40 times haven’t hindered McCoy and Freeman. In Round 1, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was taken as the No. 1 back in the class despite his timed sluggishness.
If, however, Benjamin plays at his Senior Bowl weight, he’ll likely be nothing more than a change-of-pace No. 2 option in a committee. At the absolute best, he’ll be a slightly bigger version of Dion Lewis, who has just one season of 1000-plus yards.
And it’s not as if Lewis is a bad player or has had a substandard career — but he’s not a hoped-for outcome.
Size concerns aside, Benjamin could surprise in the NFL if he gets regular work. After playing as the No. 3 back behind Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage as a rookie, Benjamin broke out as a sophomore and continued to produce as a junior (per Pro Football Focus).
- 2018 (13 games): 300-1,642-16 rushing, 35-263-2 receiving on 44 targets
- 2019 (12 games): 253-1,083-10 rushing, 42-347-2 receiving on 52 targets
What stands out most about Benjamin is his receiving workload. He was heavily utilized in the passing game at Arizona State and is a natural hands catcher with just six drops on 88 catchable targets for his career (per PFF).
If he manages to become a lead back, he could be a true three-down asset because of his pass-catching ability.
I don’t think much of Benjamin’s running style. He’s more of a slasher than a grinder, and for his career, he’s averaged a rather pedestrian 3.1 yards after contact per attempt (per the 2020 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook). He seems to lack the power necessary to move a pile.
But I also don’t know how much running style matters. It seems like the kind of thing focused on most by people who don’t win their fantasy leagues.
Ultimately, I’ll probably stay away from Benjamin. He has potential as a 21-year-old pass-catching back, but because of his uncertain size — and the less-than-stellar performance history of mid-round mid-sized backs — I doubt Benjamin will be more than a timeshare contributor or short-term lead back-by-default.
NFL Prospect Comp: Tre Mason with less speed but more receiving ability
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Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, part of The Action Network.