Christian Benford Selected 185th by the Bills, Becomes First Wildcat Drafted Since 2017


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Christian Benford became the first Wildcat drafted since 2017.

Matthew Ryan, Co-Sports Editor

On the third and final day of the 2022 NFL Draft, cornerback Christian Benford became the first Villanova player to be drafted in the last five years, going in the sixth round, 185th overall, to the Buffalo Bills.

Benford was the Bills’ sixth player selected in the draft and second cornerback after the team took Kaiir Elam out of Florida with the 23rd overall pick. Overall, Benford was the 24th cornerback off the board.

The last Wildcat to be drafted was offensive tackle Brad Seaton, who went 236th overall to the Titans in 2017, and earlier that draft, defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon was the 59th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. Benford’s selection was the first time since 1981 that a Wildcats defensive back has been drafted, when the Detroit Lions took David Martin with the 240th overall pick.

A 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior out of Randallstown, Md., Benford has been a contributor for the Wildcats since his freshman year in 2018, where he posted a career-high 49 total tackles and had a team-high five interceptions. That season, he was named the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Rookie of the Year and was a CAA Third-Team Defense member.

As a sophomore and junior, Benford’s interception numbers took a hit with just one each season, but in the COVID shortened 2020 spring season, where the Wildcats only played four games, Benford was named to the CAA First Team Defense. 

Benford returned to Villanova for his senior year, and it paid dividends, as he was one of the best players in the CAA. He started the season off with back-to-back two-interception games, first at Lehigh and then against Bucknell — taking one back for a touchdown — and finished the year with seven total along with an impressive 25 passes defended, both team-highs.

Joining a team that was just 13 seconds away from the AFC Championship game a year ago, Benford likely projects as a backup to start his career who could help out on special teams.