by Ryer Gardenswartz
Benny Snell Jr.
5’ 10” 224 lbs
Rushing: 289 atts 1,449 yds 16 TDs
Receiving: 17 rec 105 yds 0 TDs
Benny Snell Jr. has the chance to become a prototypical downhill running back. He ended his collegiate career as Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher in the ever-tough SEC. He has a compact frame, which allows him to run through arm tackles with ease. He is constantly fighting for extra yards and often falls forward to maximize each run. While he doesn’t necessarily run over his opponents, he instead carries them along for the ride. There aren’t many instances where he was stopped at the initial point of contact. His hard-nose skill set helped him average at least 5.0 yards per carry in his three seasons at Kentucky. He was also a touchdown animal, scoring 48 times in his three years. His patience and vision help him move assertively to find the open lanes.
Snell’s lack of speed is what will likely hold him back in the draft and the NFL. He ran a 4.66 40-yard dash at the combine, which is definitely a step behind other top prospects. While his vision and patience help him find the hole, he struggles using his burst and acceleration to get through all holes. It will be interesting to see if he can make NFL defenders miss him at the next level. It is promising that he played against top SEC talent, but the NFL is an entirely different beast.
Snell is not the “sexy runner” that we have become accustomed to in the NFL. He won’t blow anyone away with his raw athleticism but should still be an effective running back at the next level. Teams will be attracted to his toughness, size, instincts, and nose for the endzone. I see him as a 3rd round pick, where other backs like Alvin Kamara, David Johnson, James Conner, have recently been selected.