As part of our offseason coverage, Buckeye Sports Bulletin will be putting out full scouting reports for every Buckeye that could hear his name called in the 2020 NFL Draft in April. Next up is wide receiver Binjimen Victor.
Binjimen Victor is a very particular type of player, one that seems to be universally experienced by every school in the country on a two or three-year rotation.
To call him an underachiever wouldn’t be fair, because he did put up the best season of his career in 2019, pulling in 35 receptions for 573 yards and six touchdowns, which was essentially right on with preseason expectations.
We’ll call this type of player an achiever, because like Victor, achievers are defined by careers that had plenty of success, but also had a constant feeling of hypothetical improvement. Victor, who came to Ohio State as a high four-star recruit and has all the physical traits of a superstar, always seemed as though he should have been more than what he was.
Unlike flat-out busts, though, achievers are plenty successful. Victor was the third or fourth option on an offense absolutely loaded with talent and played that role well. He caught the majority of passes that he saw, made the occasional big play, and looked competent and talented throughout the season. He was never perfect, but in that role, Victor did his job.
Because of Victor’s baseline consistency, the flashes of immense ability almost became more confusing, because there was no storyline of “putting it all together” to apply to him. Victor wasn’t a case of too little playing time, nor was he a player unable of staying out of his own way. He was just good, and for a player of his stature and for the hype that he entered Ohio State’s program with, just being good never seemed to be enough.
For the merits of a scouting report, however, consistently good is about as encouraging a trait as one can have, and while Victor’s hands still aren’t amazing, nor are his route running skills, the Florida native has a knack for catching passes thrown to him and getting open regardless of coverage.
There are plenty of things that he could improve at, but from day one, any NFL team that drafts him would be getting a 53-man roster caliber receiver.
A lot of that consistency does come from Victor’s physical ability, though not just because of his lofty 6-4 frame, on which he’s packed just 199 pounds. Despite his lack of weight, Victor has added quite a bit of strength in his four years at Ohio State, and showed it off frequently during his senior season. He’s aggressive at the point of attack, and while he wasn’t pressed much, he’s shown that he isn’t afraid to use his hands to work off of a jam.
Off of the line of scrimmage, Victor has improved significantly at using his size to shield the ball away from defenders, and while he’s not the most physical receiver in the world, he is good at creating separation using the size that he has.
That shielding ability shows up here. He gets to the spot his route calls for, and set up a target for Justin Fields away from where the defender is flying in, snagging the ball on the outside of his body, rather than the inside, where the defender is fare more likely to be. This lets him turn up field quickly, and show off one of the more underrated parts of his game: his ability as a runner after the catch.
Because of Victor’s physical profile, he isn’t generally thought of as a player that can make big plays with his feet once he has the ball. However, Victor was actually one of Ohio State’s better threats for yards after the catch, largely because of his vision.
Victor doesn’t possess blazing speed, but just like with his routes, he’s smart with the way that he runs, and has an innate understanding of pursuit angles that allows him to pick up extra yardage.
There’s nothing quick-twitch about Victor as an athlete, which again can be primarily chalked up to his physical profile. That’s no issue for him, however, because he’s learned how to use his physical advantages in ways that larger receivers rarely do, making a different archetype entirely from the one that was always expected of him at Ohio State.
Victor is no deep threat, though he is capable of tracking down long passes, nor is he a 50/50 ball, just-throw-it-up-to-him wideout. He’s a yards-after-the-catch receiver that does his best work on short passes that allow him to create room for the catch with his size and create yards after the catch with his vision.
Victor never lived up to expectations at Ohio State, partially because those expectations may have been unreasonable, partially because he may not have been as talented as expected, but primarily because he was never utilized properly. Victor’s correct role is as a Michael Thomas impersonator, not as Devin Smith or Julio Jones.
Victor’s ideal fit would be in an offense with a quarterback in need of a secure target, though not in need of a true No. 1 receiver. He’s also likely going to need to be joining a team that already has a deep threat built into the passing game, so that he can focus primarily on working within about 15 yards. He’s capable of going downfield, but his best work is going to be done if a team is playing off to prevent deep passes going elsewhere, allowing him to take advantage in the short game.
Because he’s not going to be drafted in the first two days, just about every team is going to get a shot at drafting him, so he’ll have strong odds of being picked by a team that he fits, rather than one that is just in need of a receiver (which you’d usually see in the earlier rounds). The schematic best fit would be a team like Kansas City or Philadelphia, where he wouldn’t be the focal point but could still make plays when the strong armed quarterbacks if either team doesn’t have anything open downfield.
For player style, learning under Thomas in New Orleans, Julio Jones in Atlanta or A.J. Green wherever Green lands would also make sense for Victor, though it may make for a longer learning process because he would be less likely to see the field in his early years, and could risk being cut before he can make an impact.
Ultimately, Victor’s value is going to come from how little he has been talked about in recent months. He lacks a single trait or stat that makes him stand out, but has the strong foundation that will make him a high-value selection in a lower value round.
For a team in need of a receiver that can reel in 60 slants a year and complement a true No. 1 on the other side of the field, Victor could be a revelation, especially if he’s taken in the final three rounds.
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