Earl Bennett WR Vanderbilt
Earl has good size and speed to play his position. He is what I call a thinker WR. He runs really good routes and while looking at his opponent, will make subtle adjustments to his routes during the game. He has great hands and is a very dependable WR who will fight for a ball and turn into a defender if he cannot catch the ball. Earl is a smart WR who understands situational football. He is quick off the line and gets into his route very quickly. Earl -- in the right system and with the right QB -- could easily become a #1 WR. His style of play reminds me a lot of Marvin Harrison (WR Colts). He is not as fast as Marvin, but is just as smart and elusive.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Earl will have to get stronger, improve his run-after-catch (RAC) abilities and learn to hold onto the ball at all cost. He also needs to fine tune his blocking. However, what he really needs to do is trust his natural athletic talents. He has to push himself athletically because he looks to me like he can be faster and quicker, but he hasn't worked on those aspects of his game like he has worked on the mental part of his game.
TALENT BOARD ROUND 2
This kid has got to get stronger in the legs and when he does, he is going to be surprised at how much that one thing will improve his game. He is a smart kid and will have to learn to handle the bump and run techniques that will be used against him as well adjust to the strength of the CB's. He will also be surprised at how CB's at the next level will bump him off stride in the middle of his route without getting called for a penalty. He runs good routes, but has to learn to run stronger routes, which is all in the legs. Give him some time and this kid should become a big time WR for the team that drafts him. He is made for a complicated offense because the kid might be one of the smartest WR's that I have seen coming out in any draft. Watching the subtle changes in his route running as a game progresses is a joy to watch. I wonder sometimes if he even realizes that he does it. I would draft this kid and use him at all three WR positions along with some special teams duties and I believe that he will have some impact in his first year. However, I suspect that in the middle of his second year, he should be the type of player that if someone gets injured, you are not going to be able to keep him off the field. I call him Earl (The Pearl) Bennett because, like a pearl, he will take time to develop -- and when he does, he will be a thing of beauty.