Arizona Cardinals draft pick hasn’t seen the field yet

Aug 28, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin (26) during Red & White Practice at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin (26) during Red & White Practice at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Eno Benjamin was selected in the 7th round of this years draft, 222nd overall. He has quickness and intrigue for a late draft pick

For the Arizona Cardinals, the running back position has been one that’s been hotly debated this year. Should Drake or Edmonds be the number one back? Who should be the third down back, pass catcher? The debates can continue on and on, yet we’re left to wonder if we’ll see the 7th round pick out of ASU.

Benjamin excelled on read-option plays in college, and often had no fear running inside the tackles given his small frame of 5’9″ and 207 pounds.  He even lays his shoulder into defenders and has great finish. On top of all that, he has shown he can be a receiving threat out of the backfield.

He has not shown up on one single injury report this year, most likely falling under the “healthy scratch” designation each week. For as much as the team’s invested in their rookies, they sure keep them locked down for long periods of time (i.e., Isaiah Simmons). Arizona could have all the right intentions, however it baffles the mind how he hasn’t even seen special teams work yet, aside from snaps on offense.

How to get him involved

Getting Benjamin into the offense would help Murray regain his dual-threat status after a recent downward trend. Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury would still be able to employ 10 or 11 personnel and re-introduce more RPO’s (run/pass options). When options of any sort are ran, this usually takes up one defender to play the pitch and he is pulled away from his regular duties.

When we apply this to the LA Rams’ defense (most specifically last week’s game vs. the 49ers), we will see the following front of 3-4-4 (defensive line/linebackers/secondary players).  The first man past the guard is (on the first level) usually called the read key, and the next man behind him on the second level would become the pitch key.

With the skills of Benjamin, and the receiver depth that the Cardinals have, this is where an advantage lies. Usually on most RPO’s the read key goes unblocked, and the decision is made off his movement.

This would put Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald as the read keys if they do end up playing DE spots. Not like you would want to not block Donald especially, but there could be an advantage to getting him to try to run around more and potentially tire him out.

With a more tired and mentally stressed front seven (or box, if you prefer to call it that) this will help the Cardinals’ offensive line dictate the pace of play and keep more of the playbook open for longer, giving Kliff and company more choices as the game goes along.

Effects on linebackers/ secondary players

Troy Reeder and Leonard Floyd aren’t necessarily known for their pass coverage skills, and are more of your “hand in the dirt” kind of linebackers. Isolating these two on either end of the line might give the Cardinals some success, seen how Jalen Ramsey will most likely cover Deandre Hopkins. This in turn, along with a potential return of Fitzgerald (and his blocking skills) will open up the passing game and the Cardinals’ wide receivers can get to work on what they do best- quick plays that result in rapid chain movement.


Eventually the Cardinals will have to get Benjamin in the game plan. Expectations for a 7th round pick are never really high, but at this point in the season, it can’t hurt to plug him in for 5-10 plays and see what happens.

dark. Next. Cardinals waste defensive effort

Giving a chance to spell Drake and/or Edmonds may also be a benefit. Get back to the RPO’s, isolate key players in front seven, and adapt as the game progresses. Hey rookie, welcome to the NFL.