One of the top wide receiver prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft, Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin, reportedly blew off a workout he had scheduled with an undisclosed team Thursday, because, as NFL.com draft analyst Gil Brandt wrote, he was too tired.
Kelvin Benjamin 30th in my new rankings. Was told KB recently blew off workout w NFL coach who had made special trip, said he was too tired— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 10, 2014
There are multiple angles to take here, outside of the on-the-nose red flag regarding his fatigue.
This isn't to suggest there's a reason to give him any kind of benefit of the doubt, but adding the word "special" before trip clearly suggests out of the ordinary. It's reasonable to think that "special" could refer to "unannounced," and in which case, the prospect is immediately in a bad position. Perform less than his best for a coach who clearly is quick to run to the media to leak information, or suffer the indignity of refusing to work out at the drop of a hat for whomever does him the honor of showing up to see him.
It's a huge opportunity for him, that's for sure, but let's not lose sight of the fact just three years ago, coaches were asking wide receiver prospects whether their mothers were prostitutes. Let's also not classify coaches as in automatic positions of class and integrity.
Eugene Parker, Kelvin Benjamin's agent, told me KB never blew off workout w NFL coach. I told him I'm sticking w story from my source.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 10, 2014
We've mentioned Parker before, and tactics aside, he's obviously very experienced, and it seems unlikely he would have mentioned to a coach his client is "too tired" to work out, even if he isn't at 100 percent. This is a ridiculously inappropriate comparison, but I've been shelved up for the last week with strep throat and a sinus infection likely forged in the fires of hell. The idea of going out and catching passes wasn't exactly appealing to me.
On the same token of exaggeration, if a major publication asked me to write them a few columns, I would have asked how many, how long and if they'd like a cup of coffee too. But Benjamin has 31 other teams very interested in him working out for them. It's simply unfair to spin this in such a way where only the negative aspects are being reported.
Who's to say this alleged workout was not fabricated, then blown out of proportion by a team selecting late in the first round? You think Denver wouldn't love to see what they could get out of a player like Benjamin? Or Seattle?
All of this just seems a bit odd, and while it's certainly possible he did miss a scheduled workout, there could be legitimate reasons for it.
Or he could be a complete flake, and in which case, the risk of selecting him just became much bigger.