Eno Benjamin: The Best Kept Secret of the 2020 Draft
As you may have heard, the 2020 draft class is loaded. Some of the top talent such as D’Andre Swift and Jerry Jeudy will not make it out of the top five in your rookie drafts. Make no mistake, those two players are absolutely worth top five selections. Have no fear, there is no need to panic and sell the farm to acquire them. Eno Benjamin can provide an edge for your fantasy teams, and he can be had in the mid-to-late first round.
Name: Eno Benjamin
Position: Running Back
School: Arizona State
Weight: 204 pounds
The Eno Benjamin Basics
Johnson calls from Wylie, TX home where he attended Wylie East High School. Benjamin was a highly touted running back, totaling 28 scholarship offers. These scholarships came in part from his incredible high school production. Benjamin totaled 7,546 rushing yards and found the end zone 111 times in his four years. During his senior year of high school, Benjamin claimed the coveted Texas High School 5A Offensive Player of the Year. His level of play landed him as 247’s #6 overall running back in the 2017 class, and the #131 overall player. Despite being the number one rated running back in Texas, Benjamin took his skills to Phoenix, AZ to be one of the highest recruits to ever attend Arizona State.
Benjamin enrolled early for the Sun Devils and saw action in 10 games as a true freshman. During his freshman season, Benjamin was a reserve running back who played a significant role as a kick returner. His reserve role on offense led to 23 carries for 142 rushing yards and a touchdown, while adding 119 total kick return yards.
Benjamin’s sophomore year was much better, as he finished as an AP Third Team All-American and a member of the Pac-12 First Team All-Conference. His sophomore year saw Benjamin break the Arizona State single-season school record for rushing yards in a season (1,642) and carries (300). On top of his rushing ability, Benjamin added 35 receptions for 263 receiving yards and two more touchdowns. Benjamin’s 146.4 all-purpose yards per game were good enough for ninth in the country.
Arizona State is not a nationally renowned football powerhouse but produced first-round pick N’Keal Harry in the 2019 NFL Draft. Harry dominated the air attack for Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils securing 73 catches for 1,088 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. With Harry playing on Sundays this Fall, Benjamin is primed to step into a much larger portion of the offense.
The Tale of the Tape
Eno Benjamin possesses all of the necessary skills to fulfill an every-down role in the NFL. Benjamin has superior vision, contact balance, patience, athleticism and receiving ability to be worthy of a mid-round NFL Draft pick and more than likely a dynasty first-round rookie pick.
— Arizona sports fan (@GlendaleCards) August 30, 2019
On this run, Benjamin is able to see the backside of the zone open up after the front side is closed down by the defense. His smooth feel for the natural creases in the defense allows this would-be short gain to turn into an eight-yard gain.
This run embodies Eno Benjamin: patience, tough yards, contact balance, shaking off tackles.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat. pic.twitter.com/tNhav03c6f
— Christian Page (@_ChristianPage) June 6, 2019
The vision trait is amplified by superior patience. Benjamin is able to let his blocks develop, see the running lanes, and explode into them. On this run, Benjamin is patient enough to let his teammates climb into the second level to keep him clean. Once there, he shakes off another would-be tackler for a big gain.
Eno Benjamin showing some good contact balance and competitive toughness on a 3rd and 1 against USC.
Gets caught behind the FB trying to read the A/B gaps but recovers, bounces outside, breaks the tackle on pursuing Safety and hits upfield for a 10 yard gain. pic.twitter.com/dqhNb67sEX
— Jesse Reeves (@JesseReevesFF) June 23, 2019
Another key trait for a running back is contact balance. Benjamin’s film is littered with the ability to get hit, keep his balance, and press forward for more yardage. In this clip, Benjamin and the other back for Arizona meet in the backfield, allowing the defense to penetrate the backfield. Benjamin is able to keep his balance from the lower body hits at the line of scrimmage and get into the second level. Once in the second level, Benjamin shakes off another would-be tackler to gain an additional nine yards.
How about this hurdle from Eno Benjamin pic.twitter.com/jan56eHMzP
— Overtime Heroics (@OTHeroics1) August 30, 2019
In his first game of the 2019 season, Benjamin is already showing his insane athleticism. Against Kent State, Benjamin hurdles two defenders in the contest, both times allowing for a much bigger gain each time. These hurdles may not work in the NFL, but this athleticism is pleasing to see overall. Here is the second hurdle.
— Arizona sports fan (@GlendaleCards) August 30, 2019
RB Eno Benjamin with the leaping catch in 1-on-1s. ASU seems to be a contender for him. pic.twitter.com/VXSwgGX5Zb
— Jordan Hamm (@JordyHamm) January 3, 2017
While we haven’t seen many highlight-reel receptions from Benjamin, he flashed the ability to make a play on the ball as a high school player. Benjamin has proven a capable receiver during his time in college. With the departure of N’Keal Harry, I would expect Benjamin to see more receiving volume in 2019.
Eno Benjamin should be a household name by now. Despite his incredible 2018 sophomore campaign, the hype around him heading into the 2019 season falls extremely short of other, bigger named running backs (Swift, Travis Etienne, Jonathan Taylor). Benjamin’s rushing and receiving ability should push him close to 2,000 all-purpose yards this season for Sun Devils. If he can hit 2k, the Eno Benjamin “Buy Low Window” will be closed forever.
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