2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Eno Benjamin
Position: Running Back
School: Arizona State University
Weight: 210 pounds
With the ball, Benjamin will alter his stride length, before, during, and after the line of scrimmage. Ever-changing and eschewing the same approach lends itself to a sense of dynamic playmaking. Despite tipping the scale at 210 pounds, Benjamin will finish the play with force. Granted, bowling over defenders is not a weapon in his arsenal, he does not shy away from contact. Instead, he accomplishes what he needs to within the confines of the offense. He will run through arm tackles and brush them aside. If you follow his eyes during the run, Benjamin shows acute vision for anticipating creases that haven’t formed.
When you observe him on film, Benjamin will run from defenders downfield. Possessing enough burst to get to the second level, he will wreak havoc in the secondary. More importantly, this acceleration helps Benjamin streak out of jump cuts, while defenses need a beat to get to speed.
What doesn’t Benjamin feature in this trait? From jump cuts, spins and stop-starts, there’s so much to unpack here. First, the jump cut looks fluid, can go in either direction, keeping a tackler guessing. When Benjamin plants that foot, he appears decisive in where he wants to go. Without delay, he makes the move, leading to the first defender to grasp for air. Following that the spin is appropriately used. That is to say, Benjamin won’t uncork one, just to show it. The judicious use makes it special when he uses it. The hesitation and subsequent speed out, gains yards that it shouldn’t. Benjamin’s body control jumps off the screen.
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During his run in Tempe, the Sun Devils used Benjamin to take the heat off the quarterback and run intermediate routes within the offense. He did not mer6ely exist on dumpoff alone. Benjamin can run a more complex route tree than many backs in this class. His hands naturally pluck the ball in mid-air, not allowing the ball to contact his chest. At the next level, he will figure in prominently to the passing game.
If you’re honest, you’ve seen both Richard and Washington reach their collective ceilings in Oakland. Plus, neither are Gruden/Mayock players. Holdovers from a previous regime, they logged the carries and catches in spot duty before Gruden. If you’ve paid attention, Gruden loves to surround himself with his people. On top of that, Mike Mayock looks to put even more of his stamp on this offense.
In the passing game, the Raiders need a threat. With Benjamin, he possesses the ability to take the ball and make the defense pay. Yet, he should not be solely pigeon-holed as strictly a third-down back. While he can excel in that role, carrying the ball needs to be a necessity. Benjamin displays the ability to shake defenders in space and churn out positive yards. Imagine a situation where Jacobs rips off a thirty-yard run. Gruden wants to keep the pressure on that run defense. Now, give Jacobs a much-needed rest for the elusive Benjamin. A completely different back that forces defensive attention to adjust from downhill burst and power to a quicker backup. The Raiders could draft Benjamin on Day Two.
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