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2018 NFL Draft Profile: West Virginia Linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton

The leading tackler on Tony Gibson’s 2017 defense will try his hand at the next level

NCAA Football: Texas at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Al-Rasheed Benton came to West Virginia Mountaineers as a national top 500 player and a top 30 linebacker prospect from Newark, New Jersey. Benton chose the Mountaineers over offers from Penn State Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh Panthers, among others. Benton followed the path of many players in college, redshirting his freshman year and playing sparingly on special teams as a redshirt frosh. He played a bit more as a backup in 2015 before earning a starting spot in 2016.

In two years as a starter Benton combined for 190 tackles, including a career high 14 against Oklahoma Sooners in 2016. He forced one fumble, had three interceptions and defended four passes. In 2017 he finished with 13.5 tackles for loss. Overall, Benton showed continued growth year to year and ended his college career as a solid contributor to the Mountaineers.

Al-Rasheed Benton Pro Day Results

Height 6'-0"
Height 6'-0"
Weight 242 lbs
Arms 31 5/8"
Hands 10-1/8
Bench Press -
40-Yard Dash 4.92 seconds
Vertical Jump 28.5 inches
Broad Jump 108.0 inches
3-Cone Drill 7.41 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle 4.60 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle 12.09 seconds



Benton is a hard-working, high-character player who works best when coming downhill to play the run. Even though he wasn’t forced to play in coverage a lot, he demonstrated the ability to get good depth on his drops. As a result, he was the 9th highest rated linebacker in pass yards allowed and only three players allowed fewer yards after the catch than Benton.


Benton struggled with missed tackles in 2017. He is credited with 27 missed tackles, which is the most allowed in 2017. Benton displays a nose for the ball but was unable to bring down the ball-carrier. He struggled with pass rushing, totaling only 3 sacks.

Possible Fits

Benton won’t be a day-one starter in the NFL and will need to make his mark on special teams. A team like the Chiefs could look at Benton for down the road once Derrick Johnson hangs up his cleats.

Outlook and Projections

Benton is ranked as the 10th overall linebacker in the draft and the 119th best prospects. This would put him in the mid-fourth round to the Los Angeles Chargers

Projection: Day Three selection