Categorized | 2014 Draft, Article

2014 NFL Draft Player Profiles – Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin


We are in full blown draft mode now as we continue providing draft scouting reports on players. Several of these profiles will be centered around players that we believe the Pittsburgh Steelers will be interested in selecting in the 2014 NFL Draft.

To kick things off this week, we’ll discuss Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

Kelvin Benjamin/WR Florida State: 6’5 234

The Good

– Size to dominate

– Long strider

– High points ball well

– Uses body to shield on crossing routes

– Adjust to ball flight well

– Strong hands

– Red zone threat in 2013

– Willing blocker

– Gets off line against press without issue

– Tough to bring down after catch

The Bad

– Not a burner

– Raw route runner

– Doesn’t work back to the football

– Lacks great burst off of line

– Will be 23 in February

– Loses focus at times

– Has had drop issues

– Struggled with weight in past

Other

– 2013 All-ACC Second Team

– 62.1% catch rate in 2013

– 18.7 average per catch in 2013

– 15 touchdowns and 22 explosive plays in 2013

Benjamin created quite a buzz in 2013 as a red shirt sophomore and played a big part in FSU winning the National Championship. In fact, he scored the game-winning touchdown against Auburn as he used his size, hands and leaping ability to his advantage in the end zone.

Benjamin, however, is not without his warts. For starters, he developed late and has admitted that he had maturity issues that he had to work through. He is a kid that doesn’t fully grasp just how good he can be.

While he is not a burner, Benjamin can certainly get over the top of defenders with his long stride and physicality. He is tough to press and usually gets a free release in the direction that he wants to go.

As you can see in the play below, Benjamin uses a great step inside along with his right arm to create a free release to the outside against Boston College. His long stride instantly provides him the necessary separation for an easy catch.

While Benjamin certainly uses his height and build to his advantage, I can’t find many instances of him working back to quarterback. You can see an example below where his failure to do so results in an interception and him ultimately ending up on his butt because of a block. Had he worked back towards the ball instead waiting for it, it would have likely resulted in an easy catch and a first down.

While Benjamin is a very raw route runner in my opinion, he shows promise. You can watch him below turn the young Duke cornerback around by keeping a constant speed with this outside nod corner route. This pass ended up incomplete, however, and it might not have been had Benjamin angled out his corner break more instead of flattening like he did.

Once again, Benjamin’s long stride makes up for lack of elite speed and he sets his inside break up nicely in the gif below for a great deep catch against Florida. Notice the separation even with the ball in the air.

Benjamin’s drops really stick out like a sore thumb on tape and as good of game that he had against Florida, the drops where there. This is concentration issue and him wanting to get up the field before watching the football all of the way in. It’s not like he is a consistent body catcher, so I believe he can get coached past this issue.

On this slant, Benjamin secures the football and becomes a nightmare for defensive backs on his way to the end zone as he is so hard to bring down because of his size. I’m not a fan of him rounding that break inside off, however, as he tips it off. Once again, he needs a lot of polishing when it comes to route running and technique.

In 2013, Benjamin was targeted 12 times inside the red zone and the seven balls that he caught all went for touchdowns. This just isn’t fair for the Duke cornerback in the gif below, who actually does a good job of recovering after he is swam over. I think Benjamin could have created even more separation here had he not slowed so much at the top of his break.

Benjamin appears to be able to judge the flight of the football well in the three games that I watched along with several highlights from other games and this red zone touchdown reception against Florida best illustrates that. This is stealing.

Benjamin has drawn comparisons to Calvin Johnson and when you watch his tape it’s easy to tell why. He definitely won’t be the first wide receiver off the board and thus I expect him to be drafted either in the bottom third of the first round or by the middle of the second round at the very latest. How he interviews and performs at the combine might play a big role in when he ultimately gets drafted.

Success at the NFL level is not guaranteed for Benjamin, but I wouldn’t bet against it happening. I really think that he still doesn’t fully understands just how good he can be. He is an instant mismatch against undersized cornerbacks and once he makes his mark at the next level it will force defensive coordinators to game plan in taking him away with help over the top.

My biggest worry about Benjamin is how he will react to being taken away and not thrown to early in games. Will he lose focus and as a result not be ready when the time comes for him to make a big play? He has admitted that he’s struggled with that in college.

As far as the Steelers go, I think 15 might be too early for him and as a result, he isn’t likely to be on the board come time for them to pick in the second round. If he does somehow fall that far and it is not character related, I don’t see how they could pass on him. I really think that this kid will be a monster in the NFL and if he doesn’t land with the Steelers, I certainly hope that he doesn’t land on another team within the division. I have had a draft crush on him for quite a while.

Projection: Top Thirty

Games Watched: at Florida, at Boston College, vs Duke (Bowl)

Tags: , , , , ,

About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • STEELCAN

    If the Steelers are considering taking a “Big bodied reciever” in the first, Id rather the go with TE Ebron first. For a couple of reasons: He is a rare athlete at the position, that could give Ben an element hes never had (even with Heath in his prime). Plus, hes your “heir apparent” to Heath. Also, I really like the depth at BIG wrs this year (as many as 10 to 12 deep) that I think they could nab one in the 4th or 5th round. (There are no TEs of Ebrons skill set in that area of the draft).

  • kev4heels

    Thing with Benjamin is that there is an enormous amount of untapped potential. His size, athleticism, hands and long-striding speed are grade-A tools. However, his route running and effort will need to better and consistent. Question is, can you get that “extra” out of him over a couple seasons of teaching. Does he want to be great? Will he put the effort in to be great? Is he coachable? If the FO thinks he has that passion and wants to be taught, you take him. Benjamin has several qualities that simply cannot be taught.

  • Callentown

    No thanks. Not in the first round.

  • Aric Brown

    I’d feel better about trading back and grabbing Robinson

  • Aric Brown

    That could lead to a Patriots style offense with lots of 2 TE sets on passing downs. It also is right on target with the get the ball out of Bens hands mantra

  • DrakePirate

    As much as i like Benjamin, I agree i would rather have Amaro or Ebron at 15 … I think Amaro is just as good as Ebron, maybe not as athletic but a little more consistent and well rounded.

  • DrakePirate

    Benjamin has so much potential and value. Would be great if he fell to the 2nd or we traded back, actually wouldn’t have a problem taking him at 15 IF a Huge IF is how well he interviews and does at the combine. The lack of experience and rawness doesn’t concern me at all … what does concern me is what is inside his heart how much he loves the sport, work ethic etc … his past weight issues are also a bit of a concern. Im sure the Steelers will do their DD and make the correct judgement. He is one of those players that might need good surroundings and support staff to get the best from him.

    He is a special player that doesn’t need a lot of touches to impact the game!

  • steeltown

    No way, not where we’re picking. I watched a lot of FSU games and I love this kid, but not in the top 15-20… would much rather take someone like Robinson later on

  • Anthony Renzelli

    Not saying they should take Benjamin at 15, but i think he’s going to be better than Robinson. He’s bigger and faster, Robinson has no explosion. Big fast receivers are the future of the NFL.

  • cencalsteeler

    His size is definitely a plus, but their is too much baggage to invest in a first rounder with this guy. Go with Dennard and help out the corner situation first. Plenty of big bodied receivers can be grabbed in rd. 2. I’d take a good hard look at De’Vante Adams, Fresno State.

  • steeltown

    They both run in the 4.5 range, I’d be fine with taking Benjamin if they trade back to the mid 20’s or something and get an extra pick

  • Jay Jaber

    If mike Evans falls to 15 take him! I think Evans is a way better player than Benjamin. Better rout runner faster and I think he has better hands and also he’s very consistent. Idk what all the hype surrounding Benjamin is all about? He caught a easy 3 yard touchdown in the championship!?

  • harding36

    If the character issues check out, 15 is right in the ballpark for this kid. A lot of things I’m hearing about Benjamin are the same things I heard last year about Corderrelle Patterson — too raw, may lack maturity, not a good route runner, too many drops. Well, the Vikings were obviously comfortable with those “red flags” and made a great choice. And Benjamin, while maybe not as athletic as Patterson, is bigger and a more polished receiver than Patterson was.

  • RW

    My thoughts exactly. Would love a playmaking TE, but Benjamin presents a ton of value. Would consider trading up in the second or back into the first to get him if we’re unwilling to part with the first pick to grab an impact defender.

  • chris ward

    Kelvin Benjamin definitely has his flaws, but he has some serious potential at the next level with his size and athleticism. It is a huge advantage for a team to have a target like Benjamin in the red zone.

  • DrakePirate

    Dennard is not 1st or 2nd round value

  • DrakePirate

    Not sold on Adams at all !

  • DrakePirate

    No way is Evans faster … not even close. Although Evans production was much higher, Benjamin has tons more talent and upside !

  • cencalsteeler

    CBS sports has him ranked as #8 BPA.

  • DrakePirate

    Robinson is a completely different type of WR than Benjamin … he maybe good, but nowhere near the potential and matchup problem

  • DrakePirate

    like you said, it all depends on his character/interviews/DD .. lets say he was a “russel wilson” type guy (obviously not the case) no problem with him going 15 … he surely has the talent/potential for top 10 pick … its just all the other issues/character/heart … talent isnt everything as we have seen so often … if he draws too many red flags i wouldn’t draft him at all, on the other hand if after all the DD we are comfortable with him 15 isn’t a reach, but would much rather trade down and pick up an extra pick and get him or trade up in the 2nd.

  • DrakePirate

    ya i know he will go high … I’m just saying watching him on tape i dont see 1st round talent … i see 3rd round / late 2nd

  • Virdin Barzey

    The biggest issue would be his character. Not saying its bad or good. For a guy that big and athletic, he doesn’t seem to be getting a whole lot of love. That’s usually a character issue. We don’t need pre-modonna receivers or those looking for an excessive pay day. Go see Mike Wallet for that.

    We need a talented receiver that also hard nose and does all the dirty work, like blocking.

  • RW

    He was the best defensive player on the best defense in the country… how is that 2nd/3rd round talent? He has great hands, speed, size and is a spectacular tackler. He’s a first round talent.

  • DrakePirate

    Im just telling you what I see …

  • DrakePirate

    Im just telling you what i see … not great speed or size .. doesn’t wrap up (yes very aggressive) .. just dont see star potential !

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I agree with you but not to take anything from your post; Amaro could be just as good or better than Ebron but Amaro is a lot like Jimmy Graham; he’s asked to run slot a lot and isn’t a blocker (haven’t seen enough, Texas Tech don’t use TEs for blocking) and he is staying in school. I do love his receiving ability though. Ebron, on other hand is second coming of Vernon Davis whichi a special talent.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I’m against it because we need a #2 WR, not a #1 WR, he wouldn’t be the main focus on offense and as this post stated, he has focus issues and he seem to be more of a “fire and ice” kind of receiver, of course in consistency- more he catches, the better he plays but when he doesnt- he just DON’T contribute. That’s why despite my hate for Matt Evans as 1st round prospect, he’d be a better #2 WR for us.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Benjamin runs in late 4.6-4.7 albeit Jeffrey/Keenan Allen speed. Long strides are true though but how fast he’ll get downfield is the question.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Agree, he’s probably the perfect #2 cornerback for us but… he’s in mold of combination between Bryant McFadden (athleticism and long speed) and DeShea Townsend kind of tackling and IQ. I think we go cornerback, next draft just not this one. We need a ballhawking cornerback.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Evans is a better #2 WR for us than Benjamin would be. Benjamin has potentials to be the #1 but… either ways around, both are a bad fit for us in 1st round because A). You don’t draft a #2 WR this early, especially when we have needs. B). We already have a #1 WR in Antonio Brown, he’ll be the #1 target on our offense. C). If both are there by our pick and our BPA all are gone, i’d like to trade back. Of course easier said than done but you’d have better value and odds of trading down from #15th pick to late 1st and a 3rd round picks, maybe more.

  • DrakePirate

    As far as I know Amaro declared for the draft ?? I think you can’t go wrong with either choice.

  • Luke Shabro

    I’ve honestly only seen one interview with the kid and he didn’t strike me as having an inflated ego and even admitted that his game has stepped up because he has matured. I never fault kids for being immature but I will fault them if they refuse to learn and grow. The kid’s a willing blocker which I love. AB and Cotch are both really hard workers that would likely keep the kid in check. I like him and unlike most I’m ok with them taking him at 15. He’s going to be a difference maker. As Michael Irvin said, “Defense wins championships? Points wins championships!”.

  • DrakePirate

    ya like him for #2 .. but wouldn’t draft him in 1st or 2nd round .. Yes we need a COUPLE ball hawks in the secondary .. .severely lacking in that department

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Can’t compare Patterson to Benjamin. Patterson were the kind who are ready to contribute right away, not just as a receiver but kick/punt returner. Ah no he’s not even polished as Patterson and Patterson was picked in late 1st round IN a weak draft. This year the depth is strong and have more elite players in 1st. Plus two different kinds of receivers.

  • steeltown

    I think Benjamin has been clocked as low as the mid 4.5 range, regardless it doesn’t matter much, neither Benjamin or Robinson are burners, its their size and catch radius that makes them attractive

  • DrakePirate

    interesting point about the #2 WR … i actually agree with ur assessment .. and both those would be a number 2 … i guess TE would be better value pick, but we do need a Big Atheltic WR .. dont care if he is a #2 or #3 … we just need that option ..

  • steeltown

    We have to go CB in THIS draft, we cant wait for Ike Taylor to be gone and WillieG to be 30yrs old and in the final season of his 3yr deal. Im not sying we have to go CB in the 1st Rd (think Ike Taylor, Keenan Lewis and C.Allen) but we have to draft CB and maybe even 2CBs

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    No shit?? I could have swore I saw that he decided to stay?? True you can’t go wrong considering we really could use Amaro at slot anyway. It depends on how Haley employs him though

  • Luke Shabro

    He’s way more polished than Patterson. Patterson was dynamic sure but he knew how to run a 9 route…. and that’s about it.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    If you has long strides, wouldn’t that still classify you as a burner though? He lacks the explosiveness to get an early start but that’s all and I wouldn’tsay he has a great catching radius like Evans or Ebron does. He have dropped many very catchable passes which is very worrisome for me.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Would go for Dennard in 2nd! Not 1st though

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Market for Ike Taylor is minium, don’t see him going anywhere except for taking a pay-cut. I see CBs doing okay as stop-gap but yeah we do need developmental/project cornerbacks to step up. We have few of those.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    True, fair enough though- we want a big receiver, you can do that with a TE. We just need a reliable #2, can be big or over 6’1″. I think the concept of big receivers are overblown, we have seen more failures in big receivers in smaller. Not to take anything away from this year prospects but… worththe risk of 1st round? You saw what happened with Jarvis jones… we can’t afford the luxury of that, this year.

  • DrakePirate

    i wouldn’t be thrilled if we picked him up in second, but it wouldn’t be a bad choice either i guess, just not 1st round please

  • cencalsteeler

    We have AB, Wheaton, Cotch, Moye and Brown. I don’t think WR is that pressing to address a #2 in round one. I do feel that corners are a priority at this point. We need some game changers, some ball hawks like you mention. I am tired of having Brady have his way with our secondary. It’s time to address this secondary position now, for Ike was serviceable this year, but the same can be said for Clark back in2012.

  • steeltown

    You’re not understanding, we need to draft CB now before Ike is gone after 2014 so that they can get acclimated and learnt he Defense, we shouldn’t wait till 2015

  • cencalsteeler

    Agree. Aside from our punting position, the secondary is the weakest part of this team, IMO.

  • cencalsteeler

    Please explain.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I agree but who? In 1st round? There are NO cornerbacks worth top 25 pick unless you are desperate. I actually see a CB/FS, interchangable in round 2 and 4 and I have Sunseri from Bama on my watch list for 4th round, he’d be a perfect candidate. As goes for cornerbacks, well.. eh there are surplus of #2 cornerbacks in this draft just none are special or good enough.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    You aren’t getting that I’m arguing for 1st round pick, not the draft. I’m actually with you and DO see us grabbing a cornerback in first 4 rounds.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    You mean a better route-runner, yes I agree but polished? No.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Frankly i know im gonna get slammed for this but its my op i am not impressed everybody wants a tall target but me ill take sammy watkins any day over any big wr i mean seriously everybody wants the next calvin johnson but ask yourself how exactly is that been working out for the lions

  • Ike Evans

    Ppl made that argument about revis

  • Ike Evans

    Dennard isnt gettin.out of the top 12

  • Ike Evans

    Robinson reminds me of limas sweed a little

  • RW

    My suggestion would be to look harder, then…

  • DrakePirate

    I just dont see what he has done at the college level transferring over to the pros … He is huge and i dont see beast mode with him nor does he play fast (little separation and doesn’t seem to YAC) … the only thing i see is good body position and hands which aren’t quite enough for a 1st round pick …. 2nd maybe 3rd definite value … i just see much more upside with benjamin … but they are both risks … i guess its upto what the organisation sees when evaluating and interviewing them.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Potential to be amazing, but it’s not gonna happen. They used to have Pro Bowl LB.s leave and they would already have a backup ready to step in and sometimes be better. Now the Steelers need CB’s, LB’s safety and soon will need TE’s and maybe DL. With so many things up in the air, they will not go WR in the first unless they do what I have been suggesting and trade down. Also there seem to be very few capable backups.

    He definitely has potential, and it seems odd that you should have to still explain to the guy the merits of coming back to the football at this age. My God, he should have known that stuff when he was 14, which bothers me. Oh well, they won;t go that route anyway.

    Although in a trade down situation, anything might happen. If you can get 3 picks in the first 2 rounds you should easily be able to get a CB, TE and someone else – take your pick. With the explosion in the passing game in college, there are several other possibilities in the 3rd round for a big-bodied WR.

    Meanwhile I would get Moye in the gym with some maniacs I used to train with, as they would get him a lot thicker in a matter of months, and all naturally. There is no cap to the amount of money the Steelers could spend on trainers and nutritionists.

  • DrakePirate

    you are right Revis is not big or fast, but his technique is flawless and has been since day one … i have yet to see another CB since play the way he does.

  • DrakePirate

    he does

  • DrakePirate

    we know he will go in top half of 1st round … we just saying we dont see the talent there for that type of pick

  • DrakePirate

    ya we will … at least 1 CB and 1 Safety … i predict 2CBs and one Safety will be drafted plus some UDFA … i think we will draft one high one mid and one late … i say draft a bunch and see what sticks …

    Really like the way the 49ers (early 80’s) solved their secondary all in one draft … that was the way to go … they did have an excellent draft that year !

  • DrakePirate

    i agree with you .. we are looking at #2 type CBs in this draft .. dont see any special ones … I would be happy with TE, CB & Safety in top 3 rounds

  • DrakePirate

    I get it … you are very High on the guy !

  • steeltown

    The only depth player I like right now behind the immediate starters is Antwon Blake.. and I like the recent acquisition of Jordan Dangerfield

  • steeltown

    ouch.. for his sake I hope not

  • DrakePirate

    you are right .. .we need an immediate player/star in 1st round .. i think the best shot at that is TE !

  • DrakePirate

    I think almost everyone here would be thrilled with sammy watkins

  • DrakePirate

    you right, being immature is not necessarily bad if he is willing to grow and learn … from what i have read he has legendary status during practise mode …

  • DrakePirate

    GREAT points !!! I would love 3 picks in the first 2 rounds with TE, CB and whatever else …. and the point on nutritionists/trainers and physical therapists/body performance trainers, etc … there is no cap … they should really move forward by leaps and bounds in this department

    not only can you extend careers but you can move up the learning and playing curve for young players … i really think the NFL is behind in these areas … it seems the players have to go off on their own to do it instead of being offered the services by the teams

    I think Cuban for the Mavs has figured this out and is at the forefront of this growing trend !

  • DrakePirate

    what about Isaiah Green … haven’t seen enough of him, but he plays with quickness and seems to be around the defender … would be great if he could turn into a quality nickel back !!

  • steeltown

    Yes I do like him, but I worry about his size, primarily his weight (180lbs) but he is very fast, could be good #5 but he will definitely have to start contributing on special teams

  • Virdin Barzey

    Glad to hear that he has matured. I agree, if you have leaders in your locker room, it takes a real nut job to still act up. See TO, Dez, Ocho-Stinko.

    We also don’t need someone to act up off the field (see Tonio) so hopefully he’s clean there as well. I personally won’t take him at 15 since we have bigger needs to fill on that defense.

  • David Edward

    As I expected, the Benjamin post has created much debate. Is he worthy @ 15 or no? A lot of that depends on who else is available, but if you are picking him purely on potential, then yes he is worthy of consideration. He could become a Megtron-like player. On the flip side, he could become a Mike Williams type (remember him?) If Watkins somehow fell to 15, then the point is moot because he is the superior player compared to Benjamin or Evans.

    I currently have 7 guys targeted for the pick @ 15…WRs Evans & Benjamin, and TE Ebron on the O side…CBs Dennard & Gilbert, DEs Tuitt & Hageman on the D side. There certainly can be cases made for and against all of these guys, however the strong case that can be made for the CBs is that they are better than anyone we currently have on the roster.

  • Aric Brown

    And EVERYONE here would be thrilled with Calvin Johnson

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Minny managed it easily last year, so Steelers could hopefully do the same this year. A trade down would get them 3 picks in the first 2 rounds if they can find a team with loads of picks. It happens every year. Hopefully the Steelers take advantage this year.

  • Aric Brown

    I really believe Benjamin will be there at 15 I’d much rather trade back and pick up an extra pick (hopefully a 2nd) There are plenty of teams that would like to have Benjamin that draft behind us. (Cleveland, KC, DAL, BAL, SD, and Carolina, maybe even the 49ers)

  • taztroy43

    R u serious Evans is way faster quicker n a better route runner… the only reason he didn’t show his explosiveness consistently was due to an injury he suffered early on the year n he still played through it… the guy reminds me of Vincent jackson…guy showed up in big games…well be lucky if hes even there when we pick…I just have a feeling that hes going to tear up the combine if hes 100%…have u even seen him play to say that benjamim is faster ect..??? Just watch some YouTube vids n compare them both n tell me who the better athlete is….I think their hands are similar but benjamin is a little more physical where as evans is more explosive….

  • Aric Brown

    Lots of quality WR this year and instead of taking a flier on a Kid like Benjamin that COULD be great. I’d rather take somebody like Robinson late in the 1st or Jordan Matthews from Vanderbilt potentially in the 2nd… and from what I am hearing is the we need a red zone threat… don’t forget about the kid Martavis Bryant (Clemsons #2) whos is 6’5 with a 4.5 40

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    That’s only happening because teams get desperate, not because he’s that good. Dennard IS not special, Roby has more upside and he’s ranked in between 3rd and 5th for best cornerback. I’d rather get Roby in 2nd, better value.

  • Iron Cadet

    Not to mention that he is 23 already

  • dkoy85

    Which kid is that?

  • DrakePirate

    not sure ur point

  • DrakePirate

    i really hope they will, but have my doubts … they dont seem to be active in trading scenarios

  • kev4heels

    So him being 23 is drastically different than him being 21? Can’t buy off on that. If Mattews (LT) was 23 yrs old, you would pass on him?

  • ATL96STEELER

    I like Ebron more but I would add Amaro to your list on OFC. Love the Hageman pick and would really like to see him @ 15 and WRs. Matthews or Robinson @ 47.

    I’m not real big on either of the CBs at 15…Fuller or Purifoy in the 2nd round seem like better value.

  • DrakePirate

    ya thats exactly what i am using as comparison … benjamin is more physical and way more explosive … i have seen tape on evans before this year/injury and he is just not explosive or fast … i dont see what u are seeing … it will be interesting seeing them run at the combine, but i prefer to judge speed by field play and evans just is not fast on the field … i think they will both run in the mid 4.5s

  • kev4heels

    AB is a great receiver – no doubt. However, a true #1 is a guy that is a matchup nightmare and can win in any battle. We need a guy that is over 6′ tall to be that physical, red-zone target that can also stretch the field. Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin both fit that description.

    Now, do we need defense? absolutelty. But who is worthy of the 1.15 pick that will address our needs? NT? They are not moving McClendon. The coaches love him at NT. ILB? Mosely maybe, but I doubt it. Guess that depends on how Spence is coming along. I will say if Spence is never going to be what he was, there will be a need for a true 3-down LB. Vince Williams can’t cover in space. How about CB? Definite need but Dennard/Gilbert are not 1.15 picks. Maybe Clinton-Dix at S…not sure if he is that 1.15 guy either. So what does that leave you with? WR, OLB (which they won’t do b/c they took JJ last year with the 1st pick) and possibly LT. Don’t think they address the lines until at least the 4th line. We have a young OL that really hasn’t been taught all that much ref Bicknell.

    I can see grabbing Ebron as your red-zone guy though.

  • dkoy85

    Have you read Hageman’s story? Rescued from the closet of a crack house at the age of 4. Was shuffled through foster care, ended up with a family. Had to battle rage issues and learned to funnel it into football. 6’6 311 lbs with a 36 inch vertical and was drafted as a TE in college but made the transition to D. That screams Steelers! Athletic, fast, and strong. This is my favorite pic for us at 15…. just hope he doesn’t have a monster combine performance.

  • ATL96STEELER

    If he goes to the combine and runs 4.4 anything…he’ll go ahead of Evans…as of now I agree, he should be on the board @ 15.

    You make good points on trading back…KC picking 24th I think has a greater need for one of the hybrid TEs, but w/o a 2nd round pick I don’t expect them to be too frisky about trading up. CLE… at least 3 picks inside the top 50, maybe we could get our 3rd rd pick back…lol…I have them taking Lee to pair up with the mini beast.

    BAL @ they would have to really love him because @ 16 or 17 they will be able to land one of the WRs in this pretty deep pool…SF looks to be a great trade partner as they have a lot of picks and could use a playmaker outside to replace Boldin.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Wow…I knew he had a rough upbringing, but not to that detail. I just think he’s the perfect complement to Heyward…then imo it takes some pressure off JJ to be a big time pass rusher…I think is miscast in this DEF.

  • DrakePirate

    hope we see more next preseason from him to evaluate !

  • ATL96STEELER

    I’m with you on the 2nd round potential guys, but I don’t have a long list of DEF I would take @ 15…very good call on Bryant I saw him against him twice this year and each time he made plays.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Not overblown…did you see the catch Bebe Thomas made for the DEN 1st TD yesterday? Nothing really special about it, but imo no way A.Brown or a smaller WR makes that play.

    I’m not in stone on any one player, but if PIT cannot get a big playmaker for Ben, we’re not going to be much better in the RZ…period.

  • ATL96STEELER

    You’re right about drafting a #2 this early…and that’s granted for ’14, but how do you know the player will stay the #2?

    IMO…A. Brown has proven he can carry the load of the #1, but I don’t really care about #1 or #2…I want 3 WRs that can play…right now we have 1 and a maybe in Wheaton.

  • lefnor

    This guy is a beast. Has more speed, more coordinated and more explosive out of his his breaks than Evans. This guy is the real deal. I don’t care if he is one year older than a normal senior prospect. He has enormous upside.
    The only concern is his hands. He dropped a very easy pass (maybe in a hitch route) in the BCS Chamionship Game too.
    I’m ok with his selection at 15.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Because in Steelers’ currently offense they have Manny Sanders running routes and cause separation between cornerback and A. Brown. Brown will be the first option Big Ben check, slot come second, Y (flanker, Manny Sanders) and TE comes last unless big ben pick up Heath or other TE’s opening. You don’t just sit in pocket and look for receivers, you actually have timing and plays for where you’ll be able to read and make throws. So yes, not just in a theory but #2 WR is a big deal.

    Last season Haley messed up by making both Brown and Wallace “interchangable” at flanker (Y) and split-out (x) because the readings willb different with timings, hence the increase in Heath Miller’s production.

  • Aric Brown

    he said everyone is looking for the next calvin johnson but he’d rather have sammy watkins… then u said ALMOST everyone would be thrilled with sammy watkins… i say EVERYONE would be thrilled with calvin johnson…. if the benjamin pick worked out as some think it could EVERYONE would be thrilled

  • joed32

    He understands, he just doesn’t see a CB worth picking in the 1st. That would be a reach for need and we’re better off getting a really good player no matter what the position is except QB of course.

  • Joe Schenk

    Why dont we trade back? If There was one draft to trade back in this would be the best one to do it. Idk maybe I’m wrong, I’m not too knowledgeable about these drafts but in the Steelers case it seems good

  • cencalsteeler

    Brad Wing, punter out of LSU.

  • ATL96STEELER

    IMO the presnap read should be determining where the QB goes 1st with the ball…not the # on the jersey.

    I know on DEF PIT has paased on some good players because they were deemed to be system misfits…Obviously you need system structure, but I think win games with players…wholesale change, no. But if you have to tweak the system you do it…I’m sure Gronk and Jailbird were not really planned out as the dynamic TE duo in NE.

  • dkoy85

    I agree and agree with taking pressure off JJ. With Heyward, McLendon, and Hageman the front 3 just got a lot faster and more athletic.Think of the stunts JJ and Hageman could work on together.

    If they can get the cap down to sign Worilds and a top FA safety and draft a corner I think the D will be set for years to come. They need some more nasty up front to go with Heyward, and Hageman brings it.

    I just really hope we can find a future starter at corner in the 3rd-4th round and get a receiver 2nd. Not sure what the TE draft class will look like next year, but TE’s seem to be a little easier to develop so I wouldn’t mind waiting till next yer, unless Ebron is the real deal.

  • Iron Cadet

    im saying the antonio brown has already been in the league 4 years and is only 1 year older

  • kev4heels

    Andrew Luck was 5 months from being 23 when he was drafted. Russell Wilson was 23 when drafted. So was AJ Green.

  • John

    Benjamin is a stud. This review is based on three games. I saw significantly more and he is basically Plax of old. The TE comments are interesting, but Steelers like TEs that can block and I have heard nothing about the blocking of any TE. It also seems we have Miller and Spaeth for next two to three years so I do not see TE as area of need either. We should take Evans or Benjamin or stud CB if available. Total stud S would be other option if available or incredible DL. Other than stud WR, this draft should be all defense. We have A. Brown so whomever we take at WR does not need to be a no. 1, just a good no. 2 like Alvin Harper.

  • Richard Edlin

    This isn’t Brandon Weedon we’re talking about, coming into the league as an undercooked player with a short potential career. Him being 23 only matters if we’re expecting to keep him very long term … we can’t start worrying whether he’d retire a Steeler.

  • Iron Cadet

    and they both came in and started from day one. that was the expectation.

  • kev4heels

    Benjamin/Evans could come in and start right away.

  • Iron Cadet

    no i dont think they would. both are not very polished route runners, and are not consistently quick out of their breaks or off of the line. i believe that they would contribute but not start. that being said i would rather have evans

  • Derick L Young

    WR is a need but this draft is loaded, especially @ WR and the Steelers are one of the best franchises drafting late round WR’s. get Dennard or someone on the D side.

  • Derick L Young

    no way he drops to the 2nd. not even close. watch his tape please.

  • Derick L Young

    hopefully he does. Curtis Brown can give up his number

  • Derick L Young

    u don’t see the talent but tons of scouts do… lol hmmmmmmmm

  • Derick L Young

    no offense but you are a retard if you think AB is not a #1 WR. complete dumb ass.

  • Derick L Young

    it makes no sense when you say every guy is not worthy of the 1. 15 pick. no sense at all……………

  • kev4heels

    what i mean by #1 WR is a guy that can win any matchup. i llove AB as much as the next guy. and yes, he is our #1. however, he still can’t beat guys for jump balls. he cannot box you out and make room for only himself to catch the ball. he cannot body up a CB. how about adding some productivity to the conversation instead of throwing out insults. you just sound immature.

  • kev4heels

    It makes plenty of sense. I’m guessing you don’t follow NCAA football and the draft? You can’t take a guy where you draft if he is not worth it. If you are smart, you trade down and still get the guy later. This isn’t rocket science.

  • kev4heels

    Actually, why don’t you tell us why Dennard is worth our 1st pick even though he hasn’t shown the ability to play zone. Or how about Clinton-Dix? Outside of this great range, what does he do that is special enough to take him at 1.15. Please, bestow us with all of your knowledge since you have such a strong opinion.

  • kev4heels

    Fair enough. Upon second thought, you are probably right ref’g starting. I think midway through the season they probably could. WR is a tough position to learn.

    I guess the question is – who would come in and start as a rookie? Not many candidates IMO.

  • Derick L Young

    I think you have the strong opinion. Teams value players differently. The Steelers board is not the same as your opinion when it comes to the talent of the players they can pick in the 1st round. JUST because YOU think they are not special does not mean it is true. See how that opinion thing works.

  • Derick L Young

    So basically what you are saying is no WR under 6′ 3″ weighing less 210+ can be a #1 WR. got it………………………………………………………….. right…

  • kev4heels

    Ok. So please explain your opinion. You blanketed my statement by saying that “it makes no sense when you say every guy is not worthy of the 1. 15 pick. no sense at all……………”. So please give your opinions on the guys I said that weren’t worthy our 1.15 pick. It’s not that hard.

    Works both ways. The Steelers board probably will look vastly different than what I think. They are the professionals. The difference between my opinion and yours is that I actually stated mine with some supporting info. You on the the other hand provided nothing but insults.

    So…let’s hear it.

  • DrakePirate

    Thats what makes this site great … we all have opinions and dont have to agree with the pro scouts … like they never get it wrong lol !!!

  • Iron Cadet

    markus wheaton will start and is the reason i dont believe that we draft a receiver in the 1st 2 rounds

  • kev4heels

    agreed…think Wheaton will be a good WR next year for us. however, who is behind him? cotchery was good last year but I’m not sure you can bank on him coming through again. i can see us passing on WR in the 1st, but not the 2nd. JMO

  • Iron Cadet

    you may be right, i think it depends on who is there. if a guy like benjamin or jordan matthews fall then id be pounding on the table for us to pull the treiiger at 2:15. only time will tell!

  • Derick L Young

    getting back to the first point I brought up, AB being a #1 WR. Was Mike Wallace? Is he now? You agree a #1 WR is not just a guy bigger than 6 feet and weighing more than 200lbs?

  • Derick L Young

    well they do get where a guy will get drafted BUT not as much with them having talent.

  • kev4heels

    Hmmm…I thought you disappeared. As to your question – no, I don’t think MW is a true #1. Not even close. He is a deep threat and that’s it. He doesn’t run good routes. He doesn’t go across the middle and turtles anytime a defensive player gets near him. Oh, and he drops a lot of balls. There are only 5-7 guys who are true #1’s anymore. Now, I didn’t say you couldn’t win a SB without one. However, if a guy who meets the criteria in terms of measureables/athleticism/smarts/projected ability, you would be a fool not to take him.

    Now, you still haven’t answered the question about why you would take Dix/Dennard at 1.15. As you know, my stance was that they didn’t warrant the pick with their play on the field. Dennard hasn’t shown the ability to play zone and will more than likely run in the 4.5’s. Dix, while having good ball skills, does not show the suddenness and seems to take a few too many false steps for my liking.

    Still waiting for your analysis.

  • shawn

    fire n ice …. 15 TDs enough said !

  • shawn

    thats not what he is saying … i get it … he is right on with his observations and predictions !

  • shawn

    it makes every sense …. what he is saying ! …

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