Photo of Bene  Benwikere
Drafted By: Panthers
  • Round 5
  • Pick 8
  • Overall 148

Combine Results

5.29 ?
  • 4.63 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 10 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 40.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 122.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.94 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.38 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

  • 5'11" Height
  • 30" Arm Length
  • 195LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/8" Hands


His cousin Chris Owens has played cornerback in the NFL with Atlanta, Cleveland and Miami. Prepped in California, where he won a state championship, played basketball and ran track. Had arthroscopic surgery in high school to repair his right MCL. Played safety in his freshman year at San Jose State in 2010, appearing in 13 games (nine starts) and recording 74 tackles, four pass breakups and one interception with 1.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Saw most of his action at cornerback in 2011 and appeared in 10 games (two starts), posting 18 tackles, three pass breakups and one INT with one-half tackle for loss. Also caught one pass for 11 yards. Played the second half of the campaign with an injured right wrist and underwent arthroscopic surgery after the season. In 2012, played in 13 games (eight starts) and recorded 67 tackles, four pass breakups and seven INTs with 7.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Began the year seeing action in nickel coverages before starting the last seven games of the season. Tied a school record with a three-interception performance against Louisiana Tech. Scored touchdowns on a 37-yard fumble recovery against New Mexico State and a 47-yard interception return against Idaho. In 2013, totaled 55 tackles, 11 pass breakups and five INTs with two tackles for loss and one sack in 11 starts. Missed one game with a concussion. Concluded his career with a school-record 14 interceptions.



Good size. Excellent ball skills -- plays the ball in the air like a receiver. Competes in the air, can highpoint the ball and snag INTs with his hands. Quick to read run and pass. Has special-teams experience, including as a gunner and jammer. Good football intelligence. Demonstrated secondary versatility -- has played corner, safety and nickel back.


Needs to spend more time in the weight room -- pushed 225 pounds just 10 times at the combine. Could stand to improve his tackling. Below-average timed speed; struggled matching with the explosive vertical speed of Stanford WR Ty Montgomery. Production inflated by lesser competition.

Draft Projection

Rounds 4-5

Bottom Line

More smooth than fast. Ballhawking nickel corner who is more effective as a pass defender than run supporter. His game lacks physicality, yet his zone cover skills could allow him to carve a role in the slot and on special teams. Would benefit from a demanding position coach. Compares very favorably to Titans third-round pick and recently signed Buccaneer Alterraun Verner.
-Nolan Nawrocki
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.