The University of Minnesota cornerback competed in a Pro Day, an evaluation day, in front of recruiters and representatives of 31 NFL teams who had come to see him in action as well as his teammate and receiver Rashod Bateman, who could be drafted in the first round.
St-Juste, he could hear his name around the third or fourth round of the draft according to the projections of specialists in the field.
He would thus become the most hastily drafted Quebecer in NFL history since running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka, 8th overall in the 1996 auction. One thing is certain, he is convinced that he will be selected.
I estimate 100% the chances that I will be drafted thanks to the performances which I showed since the month of January, said St-Juste in videoconference. I don’t have a favorite team, but in an ideal world it would be a team not too far from home for my family to come and watch me play. It’s been too long.
St-Juste’s journey from Cégep du Vieux Montréal took him through the University of Michigan from 2017 to 2019, then through the University of Minnesota campus. It was there that he was evaluated once again by the recruiters of the NFL teams.
In January, he impressed observers during Senior Bowl week, a game that brought together some of the top prospects in the American college ranks. Since then, he’s been training from Los Angeles.
On Thursday, he was able to quantify his power, agility and speed in a series of physical tests. He notably ran the 40-yard distance, a milestone in professional football’s speed measurement, in 4.51 seconds, and passed the three-cone test in 6.63 seconds.
I had a lot of fun today and that was the goal. It was quite stressful to be watched by 31 teams, but I had fun. I spoke to a lot of recruiters and it was a good day.
I had no specific expectations for my statistics, said St-Juste after the fact. The teams present were happy. They saw speed and rapidity. I felt fast. Now I can’t wait to put my uniform back on and play football for real. I’ve been training specifically for this day for three months, now I’m going to focus on being a football player. I know what I need to improve.
There are also his advantageous measurements for a player of his position which will certainly help him to interest teams.
At 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) and 92 kg (202 lb), he is very tall for a cornerback.
A draft in thoughts with his relatives
The 2021 NFL auction, held over three days from April 29 to May 1, will be held in Cleveland, Ohio. Benjamin St-Juste, he will be in Atlanta to experience the event. This is where his girlfriend studies.
He would have liked to live this special day in Montreal, with his family, but the sanitary measures inevitably complicate the situation.
I’m really disappointed not to be able to come back to Montreal and be able to celebrate this with my family, he explains. I really wanted to experience this with my loved ones. I am a little shocked.
Between now and the draft, after a few days of rest, he will resume training to be ready to make his place from the first training camp.
I still have work to do if I want to have an impact on the field from my rookie year, said St-Juste. I am ready for this. I was ready for the NFL as soon as I arrived in the NCAA in 2017.
St-Juste hopes to inspire the youngest players in the province. He makes it a pride. Quebecers in the NFL are not legion, let alone in defensive units.
It is an honor to find myself where I am now and I am proud to make my city shine in my own way, said St-Juste. I hope to give some hope to the younger ones. I’m here to represent everyone who hasn’t had my chance.