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UCLA Football: NFL Draft Profile - OT Caleb Benenoch

Caleb Benenoch opted to enter the NFL Draft rather than to return to UCLA for his senior season. He has the size and agility to become a starter at the next level.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Benenoch's path to the NFL is anything but typical. Caleb was born in Nigeria, but moved to Texas when he was nine. So that he could continue to play soccer, Caleb's mother signed him up for "football." Needless to say, Caleb flourished in his new sport.

Benenoch came to UCLA as a four-star recruit out of Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. He earned a starting spot at right tackle a few games into his freshman year, starting the final nine games of the season. The following season he started all 13 games at right tackle, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention in the process. Last year, as a junior, Caleb started nine games at tackle and another four games at guard.

Although Benenoch played well at guard, he projects best as a right tackle at the next level:

Slid inside to right guard in 2015, at times, but is strictly at tackle at the next level due to lanky frame and average strength, at this time.

NFL Combine and Workout Results

NFL Combine Tale of the Tape
Height 6'5"
Weight 311 lbs.
Arm Length 34.125 inches
Hands 10 inches

40 yd 20 yd 10 yd 225 Bench Vertical Jump Broad Jump Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Combine Results 4.98 3.06 - - 28 8'8" 5.11 8.15
Workout Results 4.98 3.06 1.68 25 28 8'8" 5.11 8.15

Strengths

  • Size and strength of upper body. Broad shoulders, long arms, and big hands.
  • Above average agility for an offensive lineman. Relatively quick feet.
  • Plays with aggression. Finishes his blocks.
  • When using proper technique, creates impressive power and explosiveness.
  • Positive attitude, good work ethic.
  • Durability and toughness. Played with a knee injury throughout his sophomore campaign.
  • Versatility. Has experience at both tackle and guard.
  • Played a lot of snaps in college despite playing just three seasons (35 career starts in 3 seasons).

Weaknesses

  • Relatively narrow hips limit potential for growth.
  • Average core strength.
  • Inconsistent technique.
  • Needs substantial improvement in pass protection, particularly in hand placement.
  • Needs to improve awareness.

Summary

There's no doubting Benenoch's athleticism or his tools. He impressed scouts with his speed at the NFL Combine and at his Pro Day workout. He doesn't have much of what NFL scouts call "bad weight." But he's technically inconsistent, and in pass protection in particular, he needs a lot of improvement. However, NFL teams are more likely to be enticed by Benenoch's potential than to be concerned about his lack of consistency.

Projection

Depending on the source, Benenoch is rated as high as the 10th best offensive tackle prospect in the draft to as low as the 22nd best tackle. On that basis, Caleb's draft projection is anywhere from round 3 to round 6. Not surprisingly, most analysts agree that Benenoch's draft status would have been improved had he returned to UCLA for his senior season to improve his consistency and technique in pass protection.

Go BRUINS!