CLEVELAND – With the 2012 NFL Draft now in the books, it appears that the Cleveland Browns may have landed their own version of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace in former Miami Hurricane Travis Benjamin.
Wallace, widely regarded as one of the premier vertical threats in the NFL, due to his blazing vertical speed in Pittsburgh, may have helped influence their arch-rivals in the selection of the otherwise un-heralded Benjamin.
While many Browns fans were clamoring for the likes of more well-known receivers such as Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Rueben Randle, Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright and Mohamed Sanu, Cleveland would select the 5’10, 172-pound speedster with the 100th overall pick in the fourth round.
The addition of Benjamin gives the Browns a vertical threat that can stretch the field—and give soon-to-be new starting quarterback Brandon Weeden—a real burner on the outside.
They say that speed kills, and if there was a area that the Browns sorely lacked in was speed—especially at the wideout position, Benjamin, who would run a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash gives the other-wise slow and anemic Browns offense a much-needed jolt in the passing game.
Benjamin would catch 41 passes for 609 yards and score three touchdowns for the Hurricanes during the 2011-12 season, and for his four-year career, would record 131 receptions for 2,146 yards and score 13 touchdowns.
One of the possible factors in Cleveland selecting the man nicknamed the “Belle Grade Blur” could be his ability to be used in the return game, as Benjamin would average 11.0 yards per return on punts and 23.7 yards per return on kickoffs.
The Browns and their 24th ranked passing attack hope that Benjamin brings some of the legendary swagger of “The U” along with his Mike Wallace-like speed to the shores of Lake Erie.
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