After two extremely productive seasons in Tempe, Eno Benjamin is now officially a member of the National Football League after the hometown Cardinals selected the standout Arizona State running back with the 222nd pick in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.
Staying in the Valley.
Welcome to the #RedSea, @eno_benjamin5!#NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/zQYNjXESyk
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 25, 2020
“I thought I’d be taken in the third round,” Benjamin said from his home in Texas moments after being picked. “I’m forever grateful to be drafted. I can’t be mad.”
Who could be mad joining an exciting young backfield featuring Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds and, of course, Kyler Murray?
Benjamin said he spoke to Drake during the draft process, has run routes with Chase Edmonds and knows Murray from the two growing up relatively close to one another in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
The Cardinals keep it local with their final pick in the #NFLDraft selecting @ASUFootball RB, @eno_benjamin5.
In 2018 he set the ASU single season rushing record with 1,642 yards and 5.47 yards per carry
He caused 72 missed tackles in 2019 pic.twitter.com/bNrXXpUHdc
— Sports360AZ (@Sports360AZ) April 25, 2020
A workhorse under head coach Herm Edwards after arriving in Tempe as an early enrollee in 2017. His first season Benjamin played behind veteran upperclassmen Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard before breaking out his sophomore season when the starting opportunity presented itself. Benjamin opted to forego his senior season and sat out ASU’s Sun Bowl win over Florida State on New Year’s Eve in El Paso.
Before Eno Benjamin (7th round, 222nd overall), the last player the Cardinals drafted from ASU?
Turned in this card to draft Pat Tillman in 7th round round of 1998 draft (226th overall) pic.twitter.com/etWjo0kjb7
— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) April 25, 2020
In 2018 Benjamin set a single-season ASU rushing record with 1,642 yards, including a 312-yard outburst on 30 carries against Oregon State, also a Sun Devil milestone.
Last fall the Wylie, Texas native’s numbers trailed off a bit as a junior but he still tallied 1,083 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 42 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns.
Benjamin said there wasn’t much suspense where he was headed when he felt his cell phone buzz Saturday afternoon.
“The 602 [area code] was Arizona,” he said. “I knew right off the bat…at the end of the day I knew I just needed one shot and one opportunity.”
Welcome home…again, Eno.