2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Ben Banogu
Position: Defensive End
School: Texas Christian University
Weight: 250 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
Blessed with potential, Banogu needs rush refinement. However, there’s enough talent that serves as a base where, if he adds to his repertoire, instant starter potential exist. Now, he does possess quick hands to use a push/pull, that works rather well. Yet, if he adds a sturdy rip or double sweep, tackles will need to adjust to the move. With solid coaching and intensive turf work, Banogu can develop quickly. It will take time and patience for him to improve this trait. While he can get by on what he currently brings, Banogu can be much better.
Despite tipping the scales at 250 pounds, Banogu will stick his nose in the running game. From the snap, he knifes inside and beats the lineman with the quick first step, constricting the running lane. On the outside, Banogu will force the back to string the play wider, negating any turning of the corner. If he adds ten pounds, that would also add the element of power in standing up tackles head-on.
Although he is an end, Banogu shows explosion reminiscent of a linebacker. When he twists inside, interior lineman struggle with his ability to get upfield. As a result, the quarterback cannot climb the pocket, as Banogu is bearing down on them. When pursuing, he displays the quick stride to close effectively on the passer.
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Testing well, Banogu flashes the ability to play with power. Occasionally, he will jolt a tackle with a great pop. Basically, the issue is a matter of hand placement and leverage. Luckily, this remains a fixable problem with intensive coaching.
If the tackle steers Banogu wide, allowing the quarterback to step up, he will spin back inside. With control and timing, he will keep himself in the play.
Without a doubt, Banogu shows the big-play, attack tackling. For instance, he shows the uncanny knack for punching the ball out while securing the stop. Whether clean or not, Banogu will free a hand to poke the ball free, as his seven career forced fumbles attest.
With Arden Key as the lone edge rusher on the team, the Raiders need immediate help. In Banogu, the team could see a Day 3 prospect with enough upside to build upon. With his skillset, the Raiders could employ him early in passing situations. However, the real value resides with developing a pass rush set that can confuse offensive lineman and keep them off-guard.