AL-RASHEED BENTON | LB | WEST VIRGINIA
Height: 6003 | Weight: 235 | Arm: 31 1/4" | Hand: 9 7/8"
Al-Rasheed Benton is a fifth-year Senior who played in 39 career games at Mike Linebacker for the Mountaineers. In his career, Benton has 217 tackles (18.5 for loss), 3 sacks and 3 interceptions. Out of all those numbers, 110 tackles (13.5 for loss), 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions came in 2017, showing you the type of productive season Benton enjoyed, and his 110 tackles was 3rd best in the Big 12. Per PFF, Benton had one of the highest run stop percentages in college football this year, registering 49 stops on 412 run snaps, however, his 23 missed tackles on 800+ total snaps is an area of concern.
Benton is a stout player with a compact, strong core and short arms. Benton is a good athlete with very good coordination, lateral control and great balance, and while he shows good closing speed across short distances once he gets a player in his crosshairs, his long range foot speed is below average.
Benton is the primary play caller on defense and can be seen constantly communicating with teammates to get everyone on the same page before the snap. As a run defender, Benton shows very good ability to key and diagnose and stays patient in his open-field mirroring to limit big gains. Even if Benton doesn’t make the tackle, he slows players enough to allow the cavalry to come in and clean up. Benton is active and keeps his hands and legs moving through traffic to affect the play even if he can only get a hand on the ball carrier. Benton has a tendency of over-pursuing his run fits and allowing the RB back inside for a gain. Benton is inconsistent in anticipating ball carrier movements and loses sight of the ball carrier behind heavy volume, where he struggles to shed blockers due to his short arms. Benton will also get antsy before the snap and mistime his run blitz, going offside. Benton showcases an impressive motor and is always in the camera frame at the conclusion of every play, whether it is in the offensive backfield or 35 yards down field chasing down a broken run. In Zone coverage, Benton is disciplined in his drops and does well to read the QB’s eyes and penetrate passing lanes if he has no set underneath assignment. As a Blitzer, Benton is a monster at penetrating A-Gaps with timing and hip manipulation to get interior linemen off of their pass sets, causing them to reach and collapsing the pocket.
Benton is the vocal leader and team captain of the defense and has been described as a “coach’s dream” by his defensive coaches. A Newark, NJ native, Benton was named to the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and is a terrific student off the field. Al-Rasheed Benton compares in body type and play style to Hayes Pullard and is best suited as a Mike linebacker in a 4-3 defense. Benton will likely be a priority free agent, but can cling on to an NFL practice squad with a good camp.
Overall Grade: 70
Athletic Ability: 3
Play Strength: 5
Play Speed: 5
Competitive Toughness: 6
Hit Power: 4
Man Coverage: 3
Zone Coverage: 3
Ball Hawking: 2
Block Shedding: 3
Gap Discipline: 3
Player Comparison: Hayes Pullard
Projected Round: PFA
For information on our grading criteria, click here.