No quarterback had a better 2021 than Stetson Bennett. His entire college career has been a roller coaster, but after winning the National Championship, he has the eyes of the nation on him. Heading into 2022, though, expectations are at an all-time high.
Now, where he stands as a pro prospect has yet to be figured out. Not many people hold him in high regard. Our devy department doesn’t even have Benett in their devy rankings. That being said, some people think he can be an NFL quarterback in some manner.
His skill set isn’t going to be flashy. It won’t make for the most exciting viewing pleasure. That being said, not sure he proves to be anything more than a backup at this point. Despite the low expectations, it’s important to remember things change. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail; time to look at Bennett’s big first game of the 2022 season.
Stories and Headlines Heading Into the Game
Bennett and the Georgia Bulldogs entered the game against Oregon as the number two ranked team in the country. Oregon ironically had hired Georgia’s defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as their new head coach. People expected this to be a closer game because of that and the amount of talent Georgia sent to the NFL.
Ultimately, Bennett and his Dawgs could contain Oregon as a whole. He didn’t make many flashy plays, but he protected the ball, didn’t turn it over, and got the ball into the hands of his playmakers.
Positive Takeaways from the Film
Despite tempering the play of Stetson Bennett, there is a ton of positives to take away from his game. Two that are worth focusing on are his ability to get the ball out quickly and to make progressions.
Every time Bennett gets the ball either under center or shotgun, he knows where to go to get the ball out quickest. What is most impressive is as he gets the ball out quickly, he didn’t throw any bad passes or interceptions. Bennett’s ability to recognize and read defenses and get the ball out quickly is an offensive line’s dream. In the NFL, it will be interesting how well this trait carries over.
On top of making the quick throws and reads, his progressions are always being made. If his initial target in a play isn’t open, he has zero issues moving on. It helps that Georgia has a plethora of tight ends and running backs Bennett can use as safety valves. He loves dumping balls off, hitting tight ends, and extending plays, which constantly turn into bigger plays and help save negative ones.
Negative Takeaways from Film
Some concerning things one could notice when watching Bennett against Oregon are his trouble with the deep ball and how long he waits for receivers on routes.
Regarding the deep ball issues, he clearly lacks arm strength. Bennett never flashed that, even when they had better receivers in Jermaine Burton and George Pickens last year. He would throw it up the best he could and let them make a play. That will not work in the NFL; you lead the league in interceptions the minute that is your approach.
More troublesome is Bennett waits for his targets to be out of their routes before making a pass. In the NFL, anticipation throwing makes you money and helps your team win, period. Without that, he can’t be a full-time NFL starter in his passing arsenal. That may change once he gets with a better coaching staff that trains him on this versus the conservative staff at Georgia.
I remain very skeptical of the NFL future of Bennett. He graded out to be average by my scale from this game, but he is someone I would not want on my fantasy team or starting my favorite team in the league. He reminds me a lot of Colt McCoy, who can be a great college quarterback and a great leader. McCoy has been in the NFL for 13 years now; he doesn’t play outside of injury but brings something to a quarterback room and that is what I see as Bennett’s future.
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