Pass-catching abilities should help former Arizona State running back carve out early role
One of the Pac-12's most productive running backs the past two seasons, Eno Benjamin should be in the top group of running backs to be taken in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Not only did Benjamin average five yards per carry at Arizona State, his athleticism and speed allowed him to be a factor in the passing games, which is where he may be able to have an early impact in the NFL as well. He does have some questions he must answer after his numbers dipped last season but the skill set is there for him to develop into a valuable member of a team's backfield.
Eno Benjamin Draft Profile
College: Arizona State
Benjamin is a low-to-the-ground, agile and slippery runner who can create something out of seemingly nothing. His contact balance is outstanding; he runs with a low center of gravity and consistently stays up through first contact. He’s consistently difficult to bring down, with the ability to finish runs strong. He keeps his legs moving and churns out extra yards. He’s agile approaching the line of scrimmage, with the ability to jump-cut to the next hole if he doesn’t have an opening. He accelerates quickly when he plants his foot, bursting through creases, and he has good long speed to hit the home run when the opportunity is there. He is especially elusive when he gets into space, and he’s one of the most natural pass catchers in this class.
Benjamin often does too much dancing behind the line of scrimmage — getting cute will get him caught for a loss much more often in the NFL than it did in the Pac-12. Vision seems to be an issue. He approaches the line of scrimmage with an uneven tempo, and he’ll miss cutback lanes even when the lane he was planning on never develops. Coaching and more reps could alleviate some of those vision and “feel” issues, but he did have more than 550 carries over the past two seasons. The fact that he was a relative disappointment last season is troubling.
He has a true three-down skill set, and Benjamin should enter the NFL as at least a part-timer on early downs who also scoops up third-down snaps. But with a little more efficiency as a runner, he has a chance to become a quality lead back on early downs as well.
Final Grade: 2nd/3rd round