Arrelious Benn, Illinois
With Benn’s season hanging on the inconsistent arm of Juice Williams, his numbers were some of the lowest of his amazing three year career. Benn still lead his U of I squad in receptions and yards, but his lack of touchdown production each season is concerning. Not all of it is Benn’s fault, as he played with an offense which was one dimensional and inefficient, but with his size, red zone production should have been at a premium, yet he only has 7 touchdowns in three years. His junior stat line: 38 catches for 490 yards with only 2 scores.
Still, with all Benn’s skill, he is bound to impress scouts and coaches alike with his precision in route running and his instincts. He still has some routes to work on in his route tree, such as deep patterns, but overall, his athleticism should prevail. Breakaway speed seemed to be an issue for Benn, but he has above average speed (4.48) and showed good short area burst and plenty of strength as he benched 225 pounds twenty times. He seems like a prototypical West Coast receiver, with his attributes being assets and not liabilities. Another team with a strong run game, such as the Jets, could select him for his blocking prowess, which he is probably best at out of the 2010 class.
Benn is a solid #2, similar to a Mushin Muhammad, but has the body, vision and talent to become an Anquan Boldin type player. Boldin’s toughness is almost unmatched by any other receiver, but Benn could mold his game with the help of a fast , veteran #1 WR.
With an intriguing, but overall weak wide receiver call, look for Benn to be selected in the mid to late 1st round in the NFL Draft.
Awards and Accolades
- Maxwell Award Candidate
- Bliletnikoff Award Candidate
- Preseason Third-Team All-American (by Athlon)
- Preseason First-Team All-Big Ten (by Athlon)
- Preseason First-Team All-Big Ten wide receiver and kick returner (by Blue Ribbon)
- Preseason First-Team All-Big Ten (by Lindy's)
- Preseason First-Team All-Big Ten (by The Sporting News)
- Named Big Ten's Fastest Receiver (by The Sporting News)
- Rated the No. 20 player in the nation (by The Sporting News)
- Rated the No. 19 wide receiver in the nation (by Lindy's)
- Rated the No. 1 wide receiver in the Big Ten (by The Sporting News)
- 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
- 2007 Freshman All-American