Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia | NFL Draft Scouting Report

After achieving stardom on the college stage, should Stetson Bennett be the next man up behind Matthew Stafford for the Los Angeles Rams in his rookie season?

The 2023 NFL Draft quarterback class was one of the event’s most polarizing groups, and Stetson Bennett was one of the most recognizable figures on the circuit. After a storied college football career at Georgia, he was selected at the tail end of Round 4 by the Los Angeles Rams. In both the immediate and long-term future, what does he give them?

Stetson Bennett NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: Georgia
  • Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height/Weight: 5’11”, 192 pounds
  • Length: 28 7/8″
  • Hand: 10″

There are a select few players whose journeys define certain eras in college football. Bennett is one of them.

In 2017, Bennett was a little-known walk-on at Georgia who eventually transferred to junior college for a year before returning to the Bulldogs. In 2019, he was the backup to Jake Fromm before earning his first starting action in 2020.

At a highly visible school like Georgia, Bennett quickly earned a reputation on the CFB stage. But it wasn’t until 2021 that his career as the Bulldogs’ starting QB would take flight. Bennett completed 185 of 287 passes for 2,862 yards, 29 scores, and seven picks in 2021, helping his team reach the playoffs and ultimately take home the National Championship trophy.

“The Mailman” delivered once again in 2022. Georgia went 12-0 through the regular season, blew out LSU in the SEC Championship, and proceeded to win another national title with playoff wins against Ohio State and TCU.

Bennett once again produced at a high clip, completing 310 of 454 attempts for 4,127 yards, 27 touchdowns, and just seven picks, along with 57 carries for 205 yards and 10 additional scores. He was named a Heisman finalist for his performance.

Through Georgia’s dominant run in recent years, Bennett was a fixture. Now that his collegiate career is finally over, however, and now that he’s been picked by the Rams in the 2023 NFL Draft, how can Bennett carry over his football career to the professional level?

Stetson Bennett Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Mobility and athleticism
  • Pocket poise and navigation
  • Experience and toughness
  • Off-platform throwing ability
  • Ability to distribute
  • Consistent mechanical rotation
  • Quick release

Areas for Improvement

  • Middling arm talent
  • Inconsistent layering and precision
  • Late trigger at times
  • Mechanics under pressure
  • Lighter frame
  • Overaged

Stetson Bennett’s 2023 NFL Outlook

Bennett graded out as a late-Day 3 pick on my 2023 NFL Draft board, but the Rams valued his production and playmaking ability and took him at the tail end of Round 4. That was rich for Bennett in the eyes of some evaluators, but as a projected NFL backup, he does offer some appeal.

The biggest thing working against Bennett is his middling arm talent. His arm strength isn’t a liability, but Bennett, at times, struggles to generate velocity on his throws, and his arm isn’t the most elastic, either.

He doesn’t have the level of arm talent necessary to layer throws into tight windows, and that limits the number of throws he can make at the NFL level.

Also working against Bennett are the conceptual factors. He’s an overaged rookie who will turn 26 years old in October of his rookie year, and he’s relatively undersized for a quarterback. Bennett stands at 5’11” and 192 pounds — similarly sized to No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young, who also fielded pre-draft questions because of his frame.

For all his flaws, however, Bennett does have a few coveted qualities in a potential backup. He’s a legitimately good athlete with exceptional short-area twitch and speed, and with that athleticism comes strong improvisational ability. At the NFL Combine, Bennett’s 4.67 40-yard dash, 33.5″ vertical, and 9’10” broad jump helped confirm his athleticism.

On top of his functional mobility, Bennett is an experienced QB and a capable distributor in the short and intermediate ranges, and he’s also a tough, poised competitor who’s willing to either stand in the pocket or sell out on the ground to move the chains.

Bennett’s athleticism helps raise his floor a bit, and as a former walk-on turned championship winner, he’s shown he can grind behind the scenes and deliver when his number is called. All it took was one team to like him as a potential NFL backup, and the Rams proved to be that team.

There’s a chance Bennett could beat out veteran Brett Rypien for the backup job in Los Angeles. And with Matthew Stafford’s injury history, Bennett seeing playing time in spurts as a rookie can’t be ruled out.

Stafford is fully healthy now after missing most of 2022, and his contract doesn’t expire anytime soon, so Bennett is less of a successor and more of a safety blanket. Nevertheless, he does have the traits to be competent in that role.

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