As the Bengals continue to be the beneficiaries of the breakout performance of former CFL star Andrew Hawkins, who has solidified his role as not only the teams’ primary slot-receiver, but arguably the most consistent offensive player through the first three weeks of the NFL season. And they owe a big thanks to their in-state rivals, the Cleveland Browns for passing on Hawkins. The Browns originally called Hawk during the 2008 spring and invited him to their rookie minicamp and did well enough that he was told he would be signed. He never got that call, as the Browns felt they were better off with the recently drafted Paul Hubbard(6th-round, now out of NFL).
Hawkins would then find himself going on a Dhani Jones-like journey, going from caddying at a high-dollar country club, working at a windmill engine factory as a floor sweeper, to a volunteer with his alma-matter, Toledo, working for their marketing department. He later became a scout in the Detroit Lions scouting department, and then became the runner-up on Michael Irvin’s reality TV show, 4th and Long. He eventually landing in Canada to play for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, where he won consecutive Grey Cup.
Meanwhile, the Browns continued to not give Hawk that call they told him he would receive, as they passed on him for likes of Mohamed Massaqui, Carlton Mitchell, and Brian Robiske in the ensuing NFL drafts. Mitchell and Robiske are out of the NFL, and Massaqui is coming off his third year in the NFL in which he recorded only 31 receptions for 384 yards and two touchdowns, marks that Hawkins is set to exceed by the Bengals’ bye-week in Week 8.
Thanks you Cleveland. Your epic blunders are greatly appreciated.