He could develop at cornerback or safety.
Benford is a small-school product hailing from the FCS. He posted 18 pass breakups and a whopping seven interceptions in 2021. He lacks top-end speed (4.52 at his pro day), but he did have some solid explosive numbers (35” vertical and 10’4” broad jump). Benford is an imposing presence at 6’0” and 208 lbs. He’s a relatively unknown commodity, but NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah did list him amongst his top 150 prospects (145) in the entire draft.
Long time NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein offered his thoughts on Benford’s outlook.
Buffaloe just took Villanova cornerback Christian Benford and he was on my list of late round value pics. He’s not the fastest guy, but he has good size and really terrific ball skills. He just needs the right scheme.
— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 30, 2022
The Bills have not been afraid to draft corners who don’t have the top gear. Beane, like many fans, knew the team needed corner depth added in this class. After plucking Kaiir Elam as a potential starter in the first round, they get a physically imposing presence with impressive ball skills in Benford late in the draft. This is a potential dart throw for Brandon Beane as he looks for diamonds in the rough who may have any chance of competing for a spot on the final 53-man roster. Beane is sure to love his tackling ability and the potential to take the football away. Watch for the Bills to consider training Benford at safety, where he fits closer to the athletic prototype.
Benford will certainly be one to watch once camp kicks off this summer.