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Poll of 17 national scouts: Kelvin Benjamin stock down


That a high-level NFL scout doesn't have Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin among the NFL draft's top five receiver prospects isn't a surprise -- it's a deep position, and draft grades will naturally vary on a 240-pound wide receiver whose speed is among several question marks.

That 17 of them almost unanimously exclude him from their top five, however, doesn't reflect the potential first-round pick that Benjamin has been projected to be. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel polled 17 NFL personnel men "with national responsibilities" (read: veteran and/or high-level front-office status) for the draft's top five receivers, assigning five points for first-place votes, and the results weren't favorable for Benjamin: 1) Sammy Watkins (83 points); 2) Mike Evans (59); 3) Odell Beckham Jr. (55); 4) Brandin Cooks (25); 5) Marqise Lee (22).

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Not only is Benjamin missing, he's not even on the radar. Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews was next with just three votes, followed by Indiana's Cody Latimer, Colorado's Paul Richardson, and Benjamin with two each. First of all, that's an awfully steep drop from Lee to the rest of the pack. (Penn State's Allen Robinson, by the way? Nary a vote. ... but back to Benjamin.) That means between 14 and 16 of the 17 polled left the Seminoles star off their top five entirely. Then there was this hammer from one of them: "He's stiff and lazy. Can't separate. Inconsistent catcher. I don't think he has off the field what it takes to be great on field. Other than that he'll be fine."

There has also been some scouting concern about Benjamin's weight, as well as his maturity. The good news for Benjamin is that there is no shortage of clubs considered a threat to draft a receiver in the first round.

But if the draft unfolds the way the poll suggests, the run on first-round receivers could end at five.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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