On March 12, Benjamin Watson signed a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns, reuniting him with his former assistant coach Eric Mangini.
For a team whose players have made a lot of stupid plays over the years, Cleveland took no chances with this one, bringing in the smartest player in the NFL.
Coming out of Georgia prior to the draft, Watson amazed scouts with his extremely high football IQ, posting an astonishing 48 on the combine's Wonderlic test, currently the highest score among active NFL players.
To put that in perspective, that's like scoring a 172 on a standard IQ test.
The highest prospect this year scored a 43, an impressive score as well, from Minnesota receiver Eric Decker, while Rhodes Scholar FSU safety Myron Rolle only scored a 33.
His intelligence obviously was a great upside, but his physical skills were definitely not to be overlooked. He posted a 4.44 second 40-yard dash time and put up 32 reps of 225 pounds.
With such impressive measurables and a high IQ, that was enough for Watson to earn the No. 32 overall pick selection by the New England Patriots.
While durability was a concern with the Patriots, when healthy Watson put up solid numbers and excelled in the blocking game in front of quarterback Tom Brady.
Over the last five seasons he has averaged 33 receptions for 417 yards, and at 6'3 and 255 pounds, he has been a consistent red zone threat with 20 touchdowns.
His production will certainly be welcomed, as current starting tight end Robert Royal has given Browns fans nothing but a headache since day one. Along with his winning attitude, Watson is a positive locker room influence and a great teammate.
This signing is just one of many who are helping to change the losing culture in the Cleveland locker room.
Watson brings his Super Bowl XXXIX ring from the Patriots, Scott Fujita brings his Super Bowl XLIV ring from the Saints, Tony Pashos helped the Ravens win two division titles, Jake Delhomme helped the Panthers win a conference championship, Sheldon Brown had a conference title with the Eagles, and Seneca Wallace was part of a conference champion Seattle Seahawks, as well.
None of the pickups have been overwhelmingly impressive, but the big difference is that this time the Cleveland roster is being filled in with people who know what it's like to be a winner.
Mike Holmgren isn't scraping the bottom of the barrel like so many past Cleveland executives have done.
If nobody has officially said it yet, welcome to Cleveland, Mr. Watson—now let's get you another ring.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!