4. Travis Benjamin, Wide Receiver
Allen and Williams collectively have crisp route-running skills to make them viable options in the long-range passing department. But the Chargers’ top two wide receivers do not pack the sizzling speed of wideout Travis Benjamin, who is Rivers’ prime deep-threat.
Since entering the NFL in 2012, Benjamin has specialized in scorching opposing defensive backs vertically down the field. His breakout season was cultivated in 2015 when he suited up for the Cleveland Browns, as he notched 966 receiving yards off 68 receptions. Benjamin chipped in four touchdowns that year.
Benjamin’s standout campaign earned him a roster spot on the Chargers in 2016. During his two-year stint with the Bolts, the Florida-born pass-catcher has developed into a worthwhile second or third option in the aerial attack. Benjamin’s debut year in blue and gold saw him rack up 47 catches for 677 receiving yards and four scores, while adding in a yards-per-reception rate of 14.4.
His second season with the Bolts saw a slight dip in production, but for a tertiary receiving target, Benjamin’s production was nothing to scoff at. The former Browns pass-catcher hauled in 34 receptions for 567 yards, four touchdowns and 16.4 yards-per-catch average.
He is not as skillfully gifted as some of the leagues top-tier deep threats such as Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs, Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers or Detroit Lions wideout Marvin Jones. But when glancing at this list of 2017’s most effective deep threats, it is fair to argue Benjamin can outperform a handful of these pass-catchers.
Los Angeles’ one-two punch of Allen and Williams in the receiving corps provides Rivers with a pair of consistent intermediate-range pass catchers. Benjamin’s blazing down-the-field acceleration smoothly complements the aforementioned duo, lending Rivers a trio of pass-catchers with an array of skillsets.