Jakorian Bennett drafted by Oakland Raiders in fourth round

A second Maryland cornerback has come off the board as Jakorian Bennett has been drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the 104th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Bennett becomes the second Maryland corner taken in the 2023 Draft after Deonte Banks was picked 24th overall by the New York Giants on Thursday.

Banks and Bennett also set a program record for highest selected defensive backs in the same draft, topping the 1981 draft that sent Lloyd Burruss and Sam Johnson to the Chiefs and Lions.

Similar to his teammate who came off the board to the New York Giants on Thursday, Bennett joined the program with little buzz despite a productive career at Hutchinson CC. Bennett posted 25 tackles, three interceptions and three tackles for loss at Hutchinson Community College and was named First Team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference selection in 2019 before making his impact at Maryland in 2020.

After playing in four of five games in 2020, Bennett arguably became Maryland’s best corner in the past two seasons as he became All-Big Ten honorable mentions in during his final two seasons in College Park.

Bennett knocked down 11 passes in both 2021 and 2022 while intercepting five passes in that time period. He also had 4.5 tackles for loss during his three years at Maryland. In 2021, Bennett led all Power Five players and ranked sixth in the FBS with 16 pass breakups, the most by a Terp since Domonique Foxworth had 22 in 2003. Bennett would end his senior year with more accolades, finishing tied for third in the Big Ten in pass break-ups (11) and tied for fifth in passes defensed (13) while leading all FBS players in passes defended since the beginning of the 2021 season with 29.

Bennett’s interceptions seemed to happen at just the right time while he was in college. His interceptions against West Virginia in 2021 and NC State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl last year sealed the games for the Terps. Bennett was named the MVP of the bowl game and got him an invite to the Senior Bowl. “It’s surreal,” Bennett said after the bowl win vs. NC State. “I came back to finish with these guys and just had an opportunity to kind of close the game over that play.”

Bennett also had an interception late in the Senior Bowl that finished the game for the National team.

At the combine, Bennett ran a 4.3 forty, which was the second-fastest time among corners. He also had the fourth-best vertical and broad jump at his position.

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