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Why Eno Benjamin could be late round steal for Cardinals

RB Eno Benjamin was taken 222nd by the Arizona Cardinals. Will he be able to make the roster and have fantasy value in his career?

Arizona State Sun Devils running back Eno Benjamin smiles during the Arizona State Sun Devils spring football game on February 28, 2019 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals waited on running back until the 222nd pick, when they grabbed Eno Benjamin out of Arizona State. That shows they have plenty of faith in Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds but also gives Benjamin a good chance of making the team.

The Arizona Sun Devils starting running back over the last two seasons as a sophomore and junior, Eno Benjamin is a stout 207 pounds on a 5’9” frame. His breakout came his sophomore year when he rushed 300 times for 1,642 yards (5.5 ypc) and 16 touchdowns while catching 35 passes for 263 yards and two more touchdowns. He regressed a bit last season, rushing 253 times for 1,083 yards (4.3 ypc) and 10 touchdowns while catching 42 passes for 347 yards and two touchdowns. He also skipped the Sun Devils bowl game to get ready for the draft.

Scouting Report

Benjamin is an intense runner who can make defenders miss and always keeps his legs moving for extra yardage. His ability to stop and go with jump cuts and creative movement is strong. His ability to make people miss and to break tackles is one of his best traits.

You’ll find disagreement on his receiving and pass protection ability, but there’s no doubt he can catch the ball and was asked to often in college. He’s shown the ability to pass protect as well and is a willing participant, understanding high-leverage situations.

Last season he had trouble with fumbles but this was a new phenomenon for him after just one fumble on 300 carries the season before. As long as he can overcome the mental aspect of the issue, he should be able to correct the fumbling.

Eno Benjamin is a fun player to watch. He strings together dynamic moves with exceptional control of his frame. He’s highly competitive and while not being the most powerful runner, accelerates his feet through contact and grinds out tough yardage. His ability to wiggle and slip out of tackles is exciting and his projection to catching the football out of the backfield at the next level is favorable. — Joe Marino, The Draft Network

Fantasy football impact

Benjamin’s projections for his career range from goalline back, receiving back, or every-down back, which is really the whole gamut of running back roles. In Arizona, he’ll likely be groomed as a receiving back in Kliff Kingsbury’s pass-first system, which is great for his longterm fantasy potential.