Caleb Benenoch, former UCLA offensive lineman, was selected 148th in the 5th round of the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It always hurts when a player leaves early, but when we know what that player can do, it is easy to see why they made that choice. That choice, for former Bruin Caleb Benenoch, has paid off today as he was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
To say Benenoch will be missed is an understatement. Before he joined the Bruins with his band of brothers that included Alex Redmond, Scott Quessenberry and Conor McDermott, the Bruins had atrocious offensive line play.
In Head Coach Jim Mora‘s first season (which was also Benenoch’s true freshman season), the coaching staff did everything they could to solidify a line that had been shaky under the old regime. Benenoch and Co. did what they could to improve the Bruins and helped them go from a 6-8 team (this season before Mora and Benenoch arrived) to a 9-5 team.
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Though the line was still shaky, Bruin fans saw the improvement the line was making with players like Benenoch. In that first year, the Bruins were 113th in sacks allowed per game. Last year (Benenoch’s 3rd year), UCLA was tied for 13th with just over one per game.
The improvements on the line were collective, but individual development was also something the Bruins were able to capitalize on. At the guard position, Benenoch was one of the stronger linemen and was able to hold his blocks in UCLA’s spread offense and helped open gaps for running backs like Paul Perkins, Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi.
Well Tampa Bay, you got your man and he is a big one. Bruin fans may miss him, but I can guarantee you Buccaneer fans are going to love him!
Congratulations, Caleb Benenoch! Go Bruins!