Benny Snell Jr.
Born: February 27th, 1998 (20 years old)
Weight: 223 Lbs
Position: Running Back
The University of Kentucky is no longer just a basketball school, and Wildcat fans can thank Benny Snell Jr. for that. This former 3 star running back burst onto the scene as a freshman, rushing for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns. He set 6 UK freshman records. Each year he improved, receiving awards for Freshman All-SEC in ‘16, 2nd Team All-SEC in ‘17, and 1st Team All-SEC in ‘18. For his sophomore campaign, Benny put the college football world on notice when he rushed for 1,333 yards rushing and 19 rushing touchdowns. After rushing for 1,449 yards in his junior season, Snell became one of four running backs in SEC history to have three consecutive seasons. Snell helped the Wildcats to it’s first 8 win season since 2007, and its first 10 win season in over 40 years! In his career at Kentucky, Snell was able to tie or break 14 school records. This list includes most career rushing yards, most touchdowns, most rushing touchdowns, most 100 yard games, and more. Snell might slip a little in the draft after an average combine, but Benny will always be a legend in Lexington. At every level, Benny Snell has been over looked, and underrated as a football player, and I believe now is the time for people to get ready for a lot of “Snell Yeah’s”
Strengths & Weaknesses
On or off the field, Snell will provide great leadership right off the bat. He plays with a chip on his shoulder every game, and is a back that gets better with the more carries he has. Benny comes at the defense and runs angry. He normally won’t go down with the first defender, and always fights to not be tackled behind the line of scrimmage. The Kentucky offensive line was questionable while Snell was there, but when they make a good hole for him he is able to find it.
Snell does lack break away speed, only running a 4.66 at the NFL Combine. He lacks elusiveness or ability to make quick cuts, and Benny caught 12 catches at UK, so he was basically a non-factor in the receiving game for Kentucky, thus making it a big question mark heading into the NFL. Like stated before, the offensive was weak at creating running lanes for Snell, but he could work on his ability to get to the opening faster. His acceleration and burst off the snap of the ball aren’t great.
NFL Draft Projection/NFL Comp
NFL Draft Projection
Though the importance of a solid running back has gained traction the past few seasons, I think Snell will still be a Day 2 name. I would love for him to be drafted by the Jets, but New York doesn’t own a 2nd round pick currently so that is unlikely. A team that does need a running back, and does have a 2nd round pick is the Oakland Raiders. I think Snell would be a great Raider, and would feed off of Gruden’s mentality well. Benny loves the sport, winning, and is willing to do whatever it takes to be great. That kind of attitude it what I believe could win over Gruden enough to select him 35th overall to the Raiders.
The NFL will love the aggressiveness Snell plays with at the running back position. Mark Ingram and Snell have eerily similar combine numbers, and both are bowling ball type backs. Mark Ingram looks for contact. Benny Snell looks for contact. Benny Snell plays with a chip on his shoulder, as does Ingram. I remember there was a lot of flack going back at Mark Ingram as not being “special” at anything in particular, and I feel the same hate coming towards Snell Jr during the draft process. If you follow the NFL at all, you know Mark Ingram has been fine in the NFL and I believe it will be the same way with Benny Snell Jr.