In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected cornerback Kaiir Elam with their first-round selection. Widely expected to slot right in as a starter in the defensive backfield, Elam found himself sharing time with the Bills’ sixth-round selection, cornerback Christian Benford.
While there’s some dismay that Elam hasn’t blown the doors off the league yet, the other side of the coin here suggests enviable depth with multiple defensive backs in one draft being seen as good enough to play in the heralded McDermott defense. What can we expect from Benford? Hopefully more highlights like these.
Pass defended vs. Los Angeles Rams
We begin our Benford look in Week 1, a game in which Benford got the starting nod. The Rams floundered much of the game. A last gasp for some respectability ended with Benford in good position to break up this pass in the corner of the end zone.
Tackle for loss vs. Tennessee Titans
If you know me, you know how much I love tackles for a loss. Benford was engaged initially, but kept himself clean enough to shove off and make the tackle on Derrick Henry — which is generally not considered to be an easy task.
Pass defended vs. Cleveland Browns
Christian Benford undercut the pass for another one defended. Credit this one to trusting his teammates. The initial assignment went deep where Benford knew help was waiting. That allowed him to sit and cover the actual target. Zone defense in action!
Interception vs. Minnesota Vikings
This easily could have been a successful play for the Vikings. A trip over a backpedaling Damar Hamlin and a bit of an overthrow led to Benford getting his first NFL interception. It was the only one for Benford last season, with hopefully some more coming in the near future.
Pass defended vs. Minnesota Vikings
I don’t think there’s much shame in getting beat by Justin Jefferson. There’s even less shame with catching back up and shoving him like hell to force an incomplete pass. Actually, I think that qualifies as a highlight, which is the name of this particular game.
Different pass defended vs. Minnesota Vikings
Once again, Christian Benford’s physicality created an incompletion. In this instance, it was a near pass interference but the “near” means that it’s excellent timing.