NFL scouts like Benson

Texas running back Cedric Benson could be the top overall pick, while the Division I-AA playoffs included some great performances last weekend.

Originally Published: November 22, 2004
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider

Before we look at individual performances that caught my eye last weekend, here are a couple tidbits to let you know where a pair of prospects stand:

Cedric Benson
Cedric Benson is averaging better than 160 rushing yards per game.
  • There are people in the NFL who feel Texas running back Cedric Benson could be the one of the top two picks in the NFL draft this April. Benson has rushed for over 140 yards in 10 of his team's 11 games this year and has 19 touchdowns, and he rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his four collegiate seasons.

  • Akron quarterback Charlie Frye, who has been on and off my Big Board of the top 25 prospects all season, was extended an invitation to the Senior Bowl over the weekend. Frye struggled at times this year behind a subpar offensive line, but with good showings in practice and the game in Mobile he could make his mark and jump significantly up the board the same way Philip Rivers did coming out of N.C. State last year.

    Now, on to last weekend's standout performances:

    Mel Kiper Jr.

    Football analyst
    Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.