04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Browns' drafts: Round 4/100 - Travis Benjamin, WR, 5-10, 172, Miami...Benjamin is a speedster who can return punts and kicks. He caught 41 passes for 609 yards and three touchdowns last year. COULD SURPRISE: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin: The Browns waited until the third day of the draft to take a wide receiver but when they did they got one of the fastest in the group. He is only 5-10, 172 pounds, but he can stretch the defense and if not start be the X receiver in four-receiver sets. - The Sports Xchange
Benjamin's game is all about speed.
He struggled to produce consistently in Miami's offense, in part due to questionable hands and in part due to inconsistent quarterback play. But Benjamin ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash leading up to the NFL Draft, and with a 38-inch vertical and a 9'11" broad jump he's a big play waiting to happen as a return man.
A two-time All-Palm Beach County player in high school, Benjamin played on a state championship team as a junior and caught 40 passes for 655 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. He was rated the No. 21 wide receiver in the country by ESPN.com and the No. 42 wide receiver by Rivals.com when he committed to play for Randy Shannon at Miami.
Benjamin started five of the 12 games he played in as a freshman, catching 18 passes and displaying his return skills with 181 yards on punt returns and 496 on kick returns. He emerged more in the offense in 2009, playing in all 13 games and finishing with a 17.4-yard average on 29 catches. He finished with 597 all-purpose yards.
Benjamin set a career high with 43 receptions and 793 receiving yards in 2010, while again leading the team in punt returns and kick returns.
With Shannon fired and Al Golden taking over in 2011, the Hurricanes' offense struggled through a transition season. Benjamin started nine of 11 games, finishing second on the team with 609 receiving yards.
For his career, Benjamin tallied 3,876 all-purpose yards, third in school history.
Strengths: Outstanding straight-line speed and is a legitimate vertical threat. Shows good start/stop ability and natural burst to accelerate to top speed and create separation from defenders. Possesses multiple gears to race away from the opposition. Does a nice job in space with fluid body control and natural flexibility. Flashes good coordination to make tough catches. Electric return man on special teams and adds value as both a punt and kick returner. Started each of his four seasons with the Hurricanes, totaling 131 catches for 2,146 yards (16.4) and 13 scores.
Weaknesses: Undersized with a small body type and short stature. Lean frame with little bulk or muscle. Needs to add strength, but really doesn't have much room to get bigger. Unpolished route runner, rounding off his breaks and tipping his intended direction. Small hands and makes too many body catches. Will have drops and doesn't appear to trust his hands or show much confidence in his pass-catching ability. Has been called out by the coaching staff several times for his lackadaisical play on the field. Doesn't aggressively attack the ball in the air and will be too easily overmatched by NFL corners. Struggles when he is challenged at the line of scrimmage and tends to shy from contact. Not reliable as a blocker in space. Had only moderate production over his career and never led the team in receiving. Only two career 100+ yard receiving performances (none as a senior). Had a combined 108 punt and kick returns in his career, but only one score on special teams. He was suspended for the season opener in 2011 for accepting illegal benefits from boosters.
-- Dane Brugler