Back in March, the Eagles made a bunch of free agent moves. They also traded for WR Arrelious Benn. Because this move happened at a busy time and because he’s not coming here to be a starter, the Benn deal remains an under the radar move.
Benn was a 2nd round pick by the Buccaneers. He did not become the impact player they expected. The Eagles got him cheap, but think they found a bargain. I think one factor that will help Benn is that he’s not coming here under pressure. He doesn’t have to become a star. He is going to be part of the WR corps. If he thrives, that’s great. If he is just a solid role player, that’s fine too.
Benn can help in a few different ways. First, he adds size and strength to the group. He is 6-1, 220. And that is muscle. Benn is a physical player and good blocker. He will help the run game when he’s on the field.
While Benn isn’t a great receiver, his skill set fits in well with what Chip Kelly wants to do. Benn has good RAC skills. You can throw him short passes or hand him the ball on a reverse/end around and he can make something happen. Benn plays big. He will go up and get the ball in traffic. He can take a hit. Benn can play in the slot or outside. He’s comfortable working the middle, but also has enough speed to be a deep threat.
Benn can also contribute on STs. He will cover kicks and punts. He has some KOR experience. Because of his size and physicality, STs play comes naturally to him.
He does have limitations. Benn isn’t as fast as DeSean Jackson. He doesn’t run crisp routes like Jeremy Maclin. He doesn’t have Jason Avant’s hands or ability to make quick cuts as a route runner. There is a reason the Bucs traded Benn for little compensation. They didn”t see a player who fit what they wanted to do or that they expected to get better in their system.
I love the move and think it was a terrific risk, but I’m biased because I’m an Eagles fan and I was very high on Benn when he was at Illinois. He let me down in Tampa, but I’m willing to forgive him. All I ask is that he score 10 TDs, cure cancer and convince Megan Fox to become an Iggles Blitz intern. Seems pretty reasonable.
Benn might not pan out in Philly, but he has the potential to be a good role player in the Kelly offense. Check out this video and you’ll see some of the skills that make Kelly think he will fit in here.