The long wait is over.
The Cleveland Browns began the third and final day of the 2012 NFL Draft by addressing one of their biggest team needs. With the 100th overall pick, the Browns chose wide receiver Travis Benjamin from Miami (Florida).
After passing on some higher profile wide receiver prospects during the first few rounds, the Browns found a flat out speedster in Benjamin. Benjamin, 5’10, 172 lbs., turned in a blistering 4.33 40-yard dash at February’s Scouting Combine.
However, Benjamin’s Combine time could be considered pedestrian compared to his personal best.
“My fastest 40 time ever clocked was at a 4.26,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin doubled as a kick returner during his four years with the Hurricanes. During his college career, Benjamin accumulated 3,874 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns. As a wide receiver, Benjamin caught 131 passes for 2146 yards. Benjamin finished his career as only the sixth Hurricane to top 2,000 receiving yards.
In addition to his contributions to Hurricane football, Benjamin also earned All-ACC honors in Track and Field in 2010, running the 100 yard dash in 10.40 seconds. Benjamin also broke former Hurricane Santana Moss’ record 6.70 time in the 60 meters.
In coming to the Browns, Benjamin instantly helps the offense improve its overall lack of speed.
“I know my speed and my agility will help me get open on a defender,” Benjamin said. “Because I am so quick and elusive, I can run past any defender on the field.”
Despite Benjamin’s impressive speed, his slender size is concerning when it comes to surviving NFL hits. However, Benjamin carries the confidence of a much bigger player.
“My weight is 175,” Benjamin said. “That has nothing to do with it because I have been playing at the University of Miami and week in and week out we played top competition every week in the ACC, SEC and all around. I am used to getting hit.”
Benjamin could also contribute to the Browns’ special teams – a unit that struggled in 2011. When asked if he envisions himself as an NFL kick returner, Benjamin responded in kind.
“Yes, kick returner, punter returner, anywhere they need me, I will be willing to do it.”
Benjamin added that Chicago’s dynamic Devin Hester is a player he sees himself emulating – something that would clearly benefit one of the league’s worst offenses.