Sunday, June 28, 2009

Player to Watch: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois

Arrelious Benn is a big physical receiver, with all the tools to make an impact at the next level. He is entering his Junior season at the University of Illinois and has already left his mark. He had a standout Sophomore season including 1,055 yards and five touchdowns (three pass, and two rush). He also has several awards to go along with the numbers.

Benn posted 1,668 all purpose yards last season, which is third all time in Illinois history. He also became one of only four Illinois players to ever reach 1,000 yards in a season. Their is a good chance he could be headed to the NFL after this season so let's look at what he could do this year to improve his draft value.

Benn has a similar build and skill set as former North Carolina University standout and now New York Giant Hakeem Nicks. Both have great hands along with good straight line speed and the ability to go up and get the ball. NFL teams drool over players like this hoping they can turn them into a red zone threat as well as a deep option.

He runs well in open space as he only makes moves when need be, he finds the open spaces and runs through them. This is another attribute that will be helpful in the NFL as players are faster and holes close quickly. He is not a player that will blow you away with speed, that being said his routes are very precise and he finds himself open often because of this.

Benn has a knack for adjusting to the ball while it is in the air, this helps him to make the tougher plays down field. This also gives the QB a lot of confidence when throwing Benn's way. Benn uses his strength to shed defenders after the catch and get extra yards.

Benn has a very versatile quarter back in Juice Williams, and will be the number one option in Illinois passing game this season. Illinois has at least three other solid wide outs to take attention away from Benn. If players like Jeff Cumberland, Chris Duvalt, and Jarred Fayson can have good years then it will be tough to double Benn. If Williams can manage to find Benn in one on one coverage then Benn will be near impossible to stop.

Illinois is not really getting a lot of talk as far as the early top 25 is concerned, and for good reason, but they will certainly have an offense that will be able to give teams trouble. If Illinois has other players step up along side Benn he should be able to put up even better numbers then last year. Benn already has NFL size, hands, and instincts if he can put together another year like last NFL scouts will be all over him. Look for Benn to make big plays all year long and be talked about as one of the best wide outs in the NCAA at years end.

(The play that starts at 20 seconds is a a scout you can just leave after that play)

(Shouts to DraftParty)

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