Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Bucs draft Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn

In a down season last year, Arrelious Benn had 38 catches for 490 yards and two touchdowns.

Getty Images

In a down season last year, Arrelious Benn had 38 catches for 490 yards and two touchdowns.

TAMPA — The Bucs were awaiting their chance to make their second of two second-round picks Friday night, and they couldn't bear the thought of watching a player they had long targeted vanish three picks ahead of them.

So the Bucs traded up to pick at No. 39. They took Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn, essentially admitting what everyone knew: Receiver was a position of great need.

"There was apprehension," general manager Mark Dominik said. "I don't think it's any secret that Tampa Bay was looking for wide receivers. I think (reporters) made that very clear to everyone. So, thank you very much."

The move cost the Bucs a fifth-round choice, which they sent to the Raiders.

If Benn pans out, the move will be a bargain. Given the Bucs' need after the departure of No. 1 wideout Antonio Bryant, the Bucs had a certain amount of pressure to come away from the draft with help.

And Benn is confident — particularly so — that he can be what the Bucs want. He was the third receiver selected this year, behind Georgia Tech's DeMaryius Thomas and Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant, but he doesn't see himself as inferior to anyone. "I think it's one of the best decisions Tampa could make," Benn said of his drafting. "The other guys are good, but I feel as though I'm the guy who's going to take it to the next level."

Benn's resume is a mixed bag. He caught 54 passes as a freshman in 2007 and 67 as a sophomore in 2008. But a quarterback carousel last season, coupled with a change of offensive coordinators, helped create a dip in production: 38 catches for 490 yards.

But Benn is attractive for several reasons: He has great size, 6 feet 2 and 220 pounds. And though he ran a pedestrian 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in February, he followed that up with a 4.36-second time at his campus pro day. Combine that with his ability to outmuscle smaller defensive backs and the Bucs believe he can be a deep threat.

"He has the ability to stretch the field because of his size," coach Raheem Morris said. "He's more of the bigger type of receiver. (The Dolphins') Brandon Marshall didn't run well at the combine. (The Bills' Terrell Owens) didn't run well at the combine. But they're bigger bodies, hard to defend down the field. They create space with their body control.

"I don't want to put the young man in that category, but there are different types of people. … These big men that are able to run down the football and are hard to bring down, when you have a chance to get them, it excites you."

fast facts

Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois

Drafted: Round 2 (39th overall)

HT/WT: 6-1, 219 Age/birthdate: 21; Sept. 8, 1988

Hometown: Washington

Overview: Had a down junior season in 2009 (38 catches for 490 yards and two touchdowns) but caught 67 passes for 1,055 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. Despite not having a 100-yard game last season, was the third receiver drafted, after Georgia Tech's DeMaryius Thomas and Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant. Had a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as a freshman.

College: First-team All-Big Ten in media voting in 2008 and second team by coaches. Big Ten freshman of the year in 2007.

Tampa Bay Bucs draft Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn 04/23/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots


    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings


    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham


    The Rays open their final roadtrip of the season tonight in Baltimore, and - continuing the theme of the week - willl cross paths with another familiar face, INF Tim Beckham.

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue


    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)