Yeah, locally and nationally people may have suspected Kelvin Benjamin could be a beast before the draft, but many bought into the idea that he would be a bust as well. After the OTAs, Rookie and Mandatory Minicamps, Benjamin's performance, willingness to work, and accolades---if not bridled enthusiasm from three pretty consummate professionals in Dave Gettleman, Ron Rivera and Ricky Proehl, I feel extremely confident in saying that the bust factor in the equation is fading fast. As for the other part...the boom of Benjamin will build up like the cannons in Tchiakovsky's 1812 Overture into a crescendo that will still catch the league by surprise notwithstanding Benjamin's gradual progression as the season rolls along.
Lastly, here are some reminders, the last two coming from articles within the past day.
Proehl certainly sounds excited to have Benjamin around, and he gave some effusive praise to the last WR he personally worked out during the pre-draft process. He said of the 6’5″ rookie, via ESPN NFL Nation’s David Newton, “A guy his size and the way he just caught the ball … just natural, just like a vacuum. I was in awe to be honest with you.”
First-round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin went high into the air on Saturday to make a one-handed snag with two defenders draped all over him. The play by the Florida State wide receiver was so impressive that general manager Dave Gettleman bent over and grabbed his knees.Then he stood and grabbed his heart.Then he smiled.
When first-round receiver Kelvin Benjamin went up between two defenders to corral a spectacular touchdown catch Wednesday, general manager Dave Gettleman had a great view right behind the end zone.When Benjamin doubled-down with another WOW grab Thursday, reaching over cornerback Melvin White for a touchdown, Gettleman was just a few feet away again.“What goes through your mind are the possibilities. If you can’t do it in practice, you’re not going to do it in a game,” Gettleman said. “It’s a confirmation of your college scouting and your evaluation process. It’s fun, obviously.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound receiver was the star of the camp, catching everything in sight including two amazing grabs on back-to-back days
Through a dozen offseason practices, coach Ron Rivera has seen enough to believe Benjamin will have a major role right out of the gate."You draft him for a specific skill set," Rivera said, via The Associated Press. "He can become a threat in the red zone and a threat for you on third down and have an immediate impact doing those things for us. It was good to see him do those things and good to see him work with Cam (Newton) as well. I'm excited as to where he's heading and what he can become for us."Although the draft community had questions about Benjamin's adjustment to the NFL after a strikingly slow shuttle time at the NFL Scouting Combine, Gettleman is confident he made the correct call late in the first round.