Last year Kelvin Benjamin returned from a season ending ACL injury he endured in a joint practice with the Miami Dolphins back in 2015. He had a productive year, but the Panthers ended the 2016 campaign with a 6-10 record. Benjamin returned to minicamp overweight to some which lead some to have doubts on how Benjamin will perform this upcoming season, but let’s go into depth on what to expect from Kelvin Benjamin this year.
Let’s Look at the Numbers
During his rookie season Benjamin caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and 9 touchdowns. He missed the entire 2015 season due to a knee injury and came back last year with 63 receptions for 941 yards and 7 touchdowns. A slight decrease from his rookie season, but still productive. You could argue that his decrease in numbers could be because of the offensive line struggles. Adding Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel to the equation will be good for this offense, but will it benefit Kelvin Benjamin this upcoming season? My guess is yes, and I’ll break down why.
Adding those two pieces will benefit Benjamin’s numbers. Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel are both dual threat players. They can run the ball, and they are great pass catchers. Defenses will have their hands full with game-planning for those two. They will open up the field for Benjamin to thrive like Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr. did for him in his rookie year. Their offensive line plays the biggest part in his productivity. If they can keep Cam Newton safe, his stats will improve. If they don’t his stats will stay the same, or they’ll get worse. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out throughout the season.