Benjamin St-Juste - Cornerback, Minnesota
By the numbers:
6'3", 202 pounds per pro day measurements.
2020: 14 tackles and one pass broken up in five games played.
2019: 45 tackles (1.5 for loss) and 10 passes broken up in 10 games played.
Benjamin St-Juste has the profile of an NFL-style boundary cornerback. His great size and length make him an attractive option for teams that like to run man-heavy defenses. Not only is he a capable and willing tackler, but he thrives in press-man coverage and possesses good click-and-close ability. St-Juste is a physical cornerback who makes his presence felt, even when forced to play off of his assignment.
Hand usage is a major plus for St-Juste. He battles throughout the rep, starting with being up close and personal at the line of scrimmage and ending with the occasional contest at the catch point. In between, St-Juste does a good job hand fighting, reaching and extending without drawing penalties. He tiptoes a fine line, but manages to do so well as an aggressive cornerback.
Ball production is a concern with St-Juste, especially considering his nature as a player. He didn't record a single interception in college and doesn't consistently elevate or challenge for the football. His long speed is adequate, although he isn't an extremely fluid operator in coverage. St-Juste tested quite well at Minnesota's pro day, so some of those worries have been alleviated. There is the occasional rep on tape where he has trouble flipping his hips quickly, though.
St-Juste is far from an NFL-ready cornerback. His route identification skills need to improve. As he relies less on his physical tools and becomes sharper, it's possible that he will be more decisive when matching his assignment and get his head around quicker. St-Juste bites on double-moves a bit too often, which could be a byproduct of him having just 18 collegiate starts under his belt. He's not the most experienced prospect and will require some patience in order for a team's investment pay off.
How St-Juste fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs currently have a respectable cornerback rotation of L'Jarius Sneed, Charvarius Ward, Rashad Fenton, DeAndre Baker and BoPete Keyes. With that said, adding another body to the mix wouldn't be a bad idea. St-Juste is a great fit with what Steve Spagnuolo values in his perimeter defensive backs: long, physical and willing to wrap up in space. The Chiefs quietly have a tremendous group of tacklers at the cornerback position, and another one with a multitude of other desirable traits would be a nice addition.
The tools are there for St-Juste to have a productive career in the NFL. His length plays well on the boundary and he has the toughness to match. While he needs time to mature and adjust to the NFL game, he has a clear ceiling as a hand-in-glove fit in a scheme similar to that of the Chiefs. St-Juste grades out as a fourth-round pick who's a risk-taker, but one who could develop into a mature and solid player if given the chance to do so.