Ben Banogu, EDGE
School: TCU | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 249 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Josh Carraway
Ben Banogu was a 2-star prospect from Texas that originally committed to the University of Louisiana-Monroe and had a solid freshman season. Banogu used that as a platform to transfer to TCU. After sitting out a year due to transfer rules Banogu put together an impressive RS Junior season that pushed him into the national spotlight. He could have left for the NFL with his former teammate Josh Carraway who had a similar season statistically who is currently on the Redskins practice squad. Banogu decided to return for his RS Senior season and had another impressive season. What most impresses me about Banogu’s production is that he managed to not go more than two games this year without recording a sack and he never went more than one game without recording a tackle for loss. His bread and butter is using his length and athleticism to work the end and be disruptive in the backfield. The BIG 12 has not produced many notable EDGE players over the past several years but they have produced players with traits to be productive role players at the next level (see Elijah Lee, Emmanuel Ogbah, Will Clarke). Banogu could be a similar type of productive even if ancillary player for a 3-4 base team.
- Athletic player for the position. Length is the number one physical attribute that stands out.
- Experience playing from a 4, 3, and 2 point stance. Has enough quickness to disruptive off the snap and can be effective rushing inside. Has enough flexibility to collapse the edge and create pressure.
- Good read and recognition skills. Can sniff out flat passes and screens. Tries to work back across his blocker to close rushing and escape lanes for the ball carrier.
- High effort player.
- Lacks functional strength at the point of attack. If Banogu doesn't win with his length, quickness or angles he has a really hard time working against linemen.
- Pretty much exclusively played strong side OLB/DE. He is a pass rusher with very little experience dropping back into coverage.
- Has very little counter moves outside of a spin needs to develop counters at the next level.
- Doesn’t offer much resistance in the run game.
Let’s see his work:
Ben Banogu, TCU Edge # 15 - Explosive pass rusher w/ terrific length, burst, agility & overall athleticism. Transferred to TCU last year & named captain before ever playing a snap.— James Thomas (@JamesThomasHT) September 22, 2018
8.5 sacks & 16.5 TFL last year & really flashed vs. OSU last week. Lightning quick feet & hands: pic.twitter.com/ohLy9tf4Dh
sheesh Ben Banogu— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) January 5, 2019
Plants with his left foot to sell outside rush, gets well below pad level, shows good hip flexibility and gets through inside with a club-rip pic.twitter.com/nJPF1vypcL
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
You may be wondering why a limited player should be drafted by the Redskins at all. Believe it or not there are a lot of limited players on offense and defense that can excel in their specific roles if put in the right positions. I compared Banogu to his former teammate who was originally drafted by the Titans in the 7th round. Banogu is the better player and has a higher ceiling which is why I think he goes a round or two higher. To be quite blunt I want you all to know that we root for the Redskins which means we probably will not get what we want. While the exciting thing to do is to ponder which elite athlete the Redskins will draft to play EDGE the reality is that it is very possible that the Redskins will either re-sign Preston Smith or they can let Ryan Anderson play who they spent a second round pick on and who has not gotten a starting opportunity yet. Nothing the Redskins have done over nearly the past decade has signaled to me that they prioritize speed at athleticism at the position over strength and length. Banogu already checks one of those boxes and in addition to his cerebral ability he can definitely get bigger and stronger over time. Pernell McPhee was unimpressive in relief this season and is not under contract for next year. If Preston Smith is not re-signed there is definitely a lot of opportunity to add youth and depth to the position. Ryan Kerrigan is getting older and will need to be spelled more so he can remain fresh. I think Banogu could be very good as a situational pass rusher using his quickness and length. If he develops one counter move and gets stronger he has the potential to be quite effective. If the Redskins had some creativity they could even send him out to line up at the 9-tech a la Bruce Irvin since he would probably be the best athlete at the position. You know what they say: You can never have too many pass rushers.