11 Days to the Draft: Illinois WR, Arrelious Benn

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

The Patriots are in need of a #3 receiver and Illinois WR Arrelious Benn could be around in the second round to be a part of our offense. Benn was cursed with terrible quarterback play while at Illinois so his statistics can't really talk for his pro potential. He has the speed and size to be a #2 receiver down the road and has a great skill set to be an impact player. He's a little stiff in his route running and could take a while to build a rapport with Brady. He has a great overall body of work so he's a little more potential than a couple of the other potential receivers the Patriots could grab. Damian Williams and Golden Tate are more certain than Benn. I would put Benn in the same tier as Demaryious Thomas and Brandon LaFell due to their raw potential.

His measurements and some quotes after the jump.

WalterFootball.com Scouting

Height: 6-1. Weight: 218.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Combine 40 Time: 4.48.
Pro Day 40 Time: 4.40.
Vertical: 37.5. Broad: 10-1.

Player Comparison: Anquan Boldin. Boldin, like Benn, has a big frame with very good ball skills, athleticism and toughness.

Click the link to see a more in-depth player review!

CBSSports.com Scouting

03/21/2010 - PRO DAY RESULTS: Illinois coach Ron Zook used to coach at Florida, and the Illini's pro day was like Florida north due to the amount of teams on hand and the attention paid to it by personnel evaluators. While Illinois may not have produced a good record last season (3-9), it still managed to develop several elite prospects. The best of those players is WR Arrelious Benn (6-foot 7/8, 218 pounds), who performed for wide receiver coaches from the Bengals, Jets, Patriots, Browns and Dolphins. Benn was put through intense position drills after the workout, running routes and catching balls for an extra hour and 15 minutes. As for the workout, Benn had a sensational outing. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 and 4.40 seconds, had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump, a 4.32-second short shuttle and a 6.79-second three-cone drill. 30 team representatives were in attendance indoors on FieldTurf. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

03/05/2010 - 2010 NFL COMBINE FALLER: Arrelious Benn WR Illinois; Viewed by some as a potential first-round talent, Benn surprised scouts by struggling with his footwork in timed events, as well as the wide receiver drills. Benn ranked among the top 10 receivers in only two categories - tying for the position lead in the bench press (20) and tying for seventh in the vertical jump (37 inches), and repeatedly lost his feet when running routes. Several drops during drills also hurt his cause. - Rob Rang, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com

NFL.com Scouting

Benn is a big receiver with above average speed that can be equally effective catching the ball underneath and in traffic or on the deep seam routes. He has good ball skills as well as leaping ability which allows him to go up and high point his catches when in traffic. He will struggle to track and adjust to deep balls that are thrown off target. He is a little stiff in his hips and tends to telegraph his cuts to defenders but shows a good burst coming out of his break. He needs to refine his route running and setting defenders up but has enough talent to be a threat as a team’s second receiver.

Strengths

Benn has good height, tremendous bulk and good top-end speed for a receiver. Is naturally athletic and comfortable getting the ball in a variety of ways including in the return game. Shows good receiving skills, catches away from his body, can go up and get the jump ball and make highlight catches near the sideline. Very dangerous after catch with his combination of size and speed.

Weaknesses

Benn is not real precise in his routes and will need a good amount of polish in this area for the next level. Is an almost unusually thickly-built receiver prospect and has some stiffness in his hips, which further hinders his route-running.

Verdict: I would rather take a more certain receiver like Tate or Williams in the second, if we are going to take a wide receiver. Benn has promise, but I would rather take a player who has proven their worth at the college level before using a second round pick on them. I'm not the biggest fan of drafting on purely potential, like Benn would be, which leads me not to promote him as a potential pick.

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