Kentucky Wildcats running back Benny Snell is bound for the 2019 NFL Draft. And he’s doing so with a full head of steam after an impressive collegiate career. Over his three seasons in Lexington, the talented runner led the Kentucky offense by posting big numbers and helping the Wildcats finish above .500 each year.
Snell played a big part in the Wildcats’ 9-3 record during the 2018 season by rushing for 1,305 yards in the first 12 games (prior to the bowl) with 14 touchdowns. Including the bowl game, he’s expected to finish with a single-season high in rushing yards, as he sits just 28 yards shy. Snell also finds himself just 107 yards shy of becoming Kentucky’s career rushing leader entering his final game.
Over the span of Snell’s tenure with Kentucky, he’s totaled 711 attempts while rushing for 3,729 yards with 46 touchdowns in 38 games. The team’s Citrus Bowl matchup with the Penn State will only add to those numbers as well. His impressive play, including a 19-touchdown season in 2017 has bolstered his draft stock and makes him one of the more intriguing prospects.
We’re going to take a look at the latest on Snell’s current draft stock and projections on where he could come off the board.
Benny Snell’s NFL Draft Stock
It’s hard not to like Snell’s upside and potential when looking ahead to the NFL level. He was one of the most impressive running backs in college football, being named to the Associated Press All-SEC First Team in both 2017 and 2018. Arguably the most eye-opening aspect is that he posted the strong numbers while playing in the brutal SEC. Although Snell had tough sledding against some top defenses, he also produced against many others.
With that said, neither ESPN draft analyst in Mel Kiper Jr. or Todd McShay had Snell among their top-10 running backs in the latest big board breakdowns. While that’s somewhat surprising to see, Kentucky’s running back did receive love from a few others down the final stretch of the season.
The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs updated his top running backs at the start of the new year and has Snell ranked No. 7 overall. Even higher than that on the Wildcats star was Walter Football, who has him graded out as the No. 3 runner in the class just ahead of the Citrus Bowl matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Benny Snell’s NFL Draft Projections
The above ranking from Walter Football provided a projected draft range from rounds 2-3, which seems to be fairly accurate based on what most are saying. Their latest mock draft follows along with that projection, with Snell coming off the board in the third round with the No. 78 overall pick to the Miami Dolphins.
Diving a bit deeper, we see the third round popping up once again when Draft Tek rolled out their latest mock. They have him being selected at No. 84 overall to the Indianapolis Colts, although that may change thanks to the emergence of Marlon Mack there. Regardless, the third-round grade with room for upside is popular.
There’s no question that Snell, who stands 5-foot-11 and 223 pounds, should have a real opportunity to boost his draft stock even higher. Based on pure talent, there’s an argument to be made that he’s up there with the best in all of college football.