For the past two seasons, wide receiver Trinity Benson has tried to make an impression with the Denver Broncos on their practice squad. Though he never was able to make it onto the 53-man roster in his two years after going undrafted in 2018, it appears he’ll get his shot right away with the Detroit Lions. Head coach Dan Campbell indicated on Wednesday that they intend on making him part of the game plan this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
“We’re going to certainly want to try and use Trinity if we can,” Campbell said.
The Lions traded for Benson just last week, sending a fifth and seventh-round pick to the Broncos for Benson and a 2023 sixth-round pick in return. Detroit struggled to find a clear No. 2 receiver in training camp, deciding to release former first-round pick Breshad Perriman, who entered practice as the favorite to win the spot.
Benson isn’t likely to assume that No. 2 spot right away. Based on training camp practices a few weeks ago—they don’t allow media to watch team drills during the regular season—it appears that job currently belongs to Kalif Raymond. But Campbell noted that Benson will likely best fit on the outside to start, meaning we could see him challenge for that spot if he can make a quick impression.
“I think that he can be a very productive receiver for us, I do,” Campbell said. “I love his tape. I’m not going to lie to you. When (general manager) Brad (Holmes) showed me kind of the cut-ups that he put together of him, I was very intrigued, I was impressed. He’s got some twitch about him, he’s got plenty of speed and he’s pretty polished.”
Obviously, Benson faces the tough challenge of learning a new playbook in a very short amount of time.
“You basically just get thrown off the deep end,” Benson said on Monday.
Another challenge will be developing chemistry with quarterback Jared Goff. But the 24-year-old has already made a solid impression in just a couple of practices.
“Trinity is a good player,” Goff said. “He’s exciting to have. He’s fast, he’s got speed, he’s smart, in and out of breaks really well, does a good job.”
Sunday will be Benson’s first shot to truly make an impression at the NFL level. Coming from a Division II school (East Central University), and only having two preseasons to showcase his talent at the NFL level, he remains a relative unknown. Even Holmes said last week that he didn’t know who Benson was this offseason. But the tape won him over quickly.
“He just popped off,” Holmes said. “He had juice, he had explosiveness. His upside as a route runner gets you really excited for a young guy.”
We’ll see if the tape translates to Sundays against the San Francisco 49ers this week.