Cardinals coach believes Eno Benjamin can be NFL starter

Talking to the media earlier this week, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talked about his confidence in former Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin.

Going into his third season in the National Football League, Eno Benjamin is still trying to find his place.

Drafted in the 7th round of the 2020 Draft, Benjamin came out of Arizona State having posted impressive numbers in his college career and was widely considered a steal as he had been projected as a Day 2 pick by most analysts. Lance Zierlein of the NFL Network compared him to Devin Singletary and predicted a Round 3 selection.

Since becoming an Arizona Cardinal, Benjamin has seen very limited snaps. He did not see the field at all his rookie season and in 2021 had 34 rushing attempts for 118 yards and one touchdown. That one touchdown was memorable against Cardinals division rival San Francisco in Week Nine. Benjamin took the ball at the 21-yard line and scooted in for the score that gave his team a 31-7 lead.

Although he has been limited in games, Kliff Kingsbury recently mentioned the hard work that Benjamin is putting in during the offseason.

Eno Benjamin has been tremendous. (He is) another guy who never had an offseason and he’s out there and looks like he could be a starting running back.

Kliff Kingsbury – Arizona Cardinals Head Coach

Arizona State Football

Eno Benjamin (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

An Arizona State great at running back

In case anyone has forgotten, although that is doubtful, Benjamin was one of the great Sun Devils’ running backs that have carried this football program in the past several years.

In Tempe, Benjamin had two 1,000+ yard seasons in 2018 and 2019. His sophomore season in particular was incredibly impressive. In that season he led college football in plays from scrimmage with 335 and was also No. 1 in the Pac-12 for the following categories:

  • Rush Attempts (300)
  • Rushing Yards (1,642)
  • Rushing Touchdowns (16)
  • Yards from Scrimmage (1,905)
  • Total Touchdowns (18)

Future in the NFL

Kingsbury’s comments are certainly encouraging for the long-term prospects of Benjamin in the league.

The current starter at the position for Arizona is James Conner who is coming off his own massive 18-touchdown season in 2021. The Cardinals also added former Kansas City Chief Darrel Williams in the offseason to bolster the running back room.

Benjamin will have his work cut out for him breaking into the starting lineup, but he has the tools necessary to be a successful pro. In fact, there is a good argument that Benjamin’s style of shifty running, including his patented spin move, is a better complement to Conner’s smashmouth style than that of Williams.

If the Cardinals are hoping to run a 1-2 punch style of running this upcoming season, Benjamin could be the perfect foil to Conner and he should be active on game days and seeing touches.

Here’s to a successful career Eno! Forks Up!

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