James Conner may be a good running back, but he is so injury-prone, one must ask whether he’s worth keeping, or if the Arizona Cardinals would be better off finding a potential successor. Luckily for the Cards, there is one back who should be entering the 2024 NFL Draft capable of putting up some James Conner-like performances.
Meet Trey Benson from Florida State University, who is a respectable 6’1, 223 pounds and has the frame to bulk up to about 235 once his season with the Seminoles ends. Regardless of whether the Cards keep Conner for (at least) one more season, Benson should still be on general manager Monti Ossenfort’s radar given not only his size, but his overall production.
So far this season, Benson has 113 carries for 721 yards, 10 touchdowns, and a yards per carry average of 6.38. This is coming off of a remarkable 2022 campaign when Benson rushed for 990 yards, nine touchdowns, and 6.4 yards per carry.
Trey Benson would be a hot asset for the Arizona Cardinals in 2024
Benson is also serviceable catching passes out of the backfield, snagging 17 this season for 214 yards, and a touchdown. He also has far fewer touches than most backs coming out of college, meaning Benson has a chance to last longer in the NFL than the average running back, which should give the Cardinals yet another reason to add him to the draft boards.
Overall, the Redbirds will need to at the absolute least find a decent supplement to Conner. Emari Demercado is one good fit, but the Cards would also do well to find a larger back in Conner’s mold should the featured back continue to struggle with injuries. Benson should be there in the middle rounds of the 2024 draft, and he’d be more than worth scooping up in the third.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)