Benny Snell 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Benny Snell 2019 NFL Draft Profile
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Running back Benny Snell Jr. of Kentucky in action during day two of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Overview                                                                                                                     Position: Running Back                                                                                                  Height: 5’10”                                                                                                                Weight: 224 pounds                                                                                                      School: Kentucky Wildcats

Combine Performance Data                                                                                          40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds                                                                                          Bench Press: 16 reps                                                                                                  Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches                                                                                            Broad Jump: 9 feet, 11 inches

Benny Snell 2019 NFL Draft Profile

From a young age it seemed Benny Snell would grow up to be a football player. His father Benjamin was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 1998. In addition, his uncle Matt played on the New York Jets team which won Super Bowl III. He was a big part of that win rushing for 121 yards.

Growing up in Columbus, OH, Snell was a star running back for Westerville Central High School. Running for nearly 4,000 yards over his last two seasons, Snell earned first-team All-Ohio honors. Snell wanted to play for Ohio State but when an offer never came he chose Kentucky. He picked the Wildcats over Boston College, Cincinnati, and West Virginia.

During his freshman season at Kentucky, Snell set school records for a first-year player with 1,091 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. Along with Stanley Williams, they both ran for over 1,000 yards. As a result, the “Boom and Benny Show” helped lead Mark Stoops‘ club to their first bowl game in six years.

As a sophomore, Snell led the SEC in rushing yards with 1,333 and in touchdowns with 18. He became the first player in Kentucky history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Furthermore, he became only the third player in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards and score at least 13 touchdowns his first two years. The other two are Herschel Walker and Knowshon Moreno.

Snell’s final year in Lexington saw him break the school record for career yards (3,873) and touchdowns (48). The number of scores ranks him third all-time in the SEC behind Walker and Tim Tebow. His 1,448 yards helped lead the Cats to their best record in 41 years. For his career, Snell either broke or tied 14 school records.

Strengths

– his compact frame benefits his running style;                                                                – very rarely brought down by one tackler;                                                                      – has great vision and won’t hesitate to jump outside if nothing is available inside;              – can handle a heavy workload and won’t wear down;                                                      – extremely good pass protector.

Weaknesses

– can be slow to hit the hole at the line of scrimmage;                                                      – rarely used as a receiver at Kentucky with only 12 catches;                                          – – won’t make defenders miss, typically tried to run over them;                                          – below average lateral quickness;                                                                                  – overall athleticism is a concern.

NFL Comparison: John Conner

Teams With Need At PositionBaltimore Ravens, Buffalo BillsChicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets

Projection: Late third round

Bottom Line

Following a stellar three-year career at Kentucky, Snell had nothing left to accomplish so it makes sense for him to declare early. As a result of his slow time at the Combine, questions have been raised about his speed and quickness. However, anyone who watched Snell over the last three years knows he was never regarded as a great athlete. He became the school’s all-time leading rusher by running through contact and over tacklers.

In all honesty, Snell performed about as well as expected and did little to help or hurt his draft status. With a player like Snell who relies on strength and determination, it is difficult to measure that in drills. Assuming he finds the right team there is no reason why Snell can’t have a lengthy NFL career.

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