Stetson Bennett is on the field for Los Angeles Rams practice and he’s already stirring up significant buzz.
The Los Angeles Rams selected Stetson Bennett with the 128th pick in April’s NFL Draft, giving priority to his remarkable list of accomplishments at the collegiate level with Georgia. The 25-year-old is expected to spend at least his first couple of seasons learning the ropes from Matthew Stafford, another former Bulldog.
Bennett won two consecutive championships with the Bulldogs to finish his college career and he was a Heisman finalist last season. His poise in the pocket, combined with excellent mobility and a surprisingly strong arm, helps to offset concerns about his smaller stature (5-foot-11).
That strong arm is already on full display.
Stetson Bennett has Rams fans in a tizzy with recent practice footage
There’s nothing quite like practice footage to generate strong reactions from a fanbase. It’s important, of course, to remember that throwing the football with no defensive pressure and ideal weather conditions on a sunny SoCal Thursday may not entirely replicate the real-game circumstances Bennett will face in the NFL on Sunday.
Bennett has genuine NFL potential; he was picked in the fourth round with good cause. The Rams wouldn’t take him that high if he didn’t have the talent to one day succeed Stafford at QB. Some of the reactions to this footage, however, are going a step too far.
Bennett could very well take over the starting role in time. Stafford is 35 years old and the Rams will eventually have to start planning the next stage of their offense. He struggled with injuries and general inconsistency last season and the Rams took a significant step back. That said, LA is less than two years removed from winning the Super Bowl with Stafford at the helm. He has the job locked down for the time being.
Although he’s an older prospect, it’s better to think of Bennett as more of a future investment. Plus, with his size and physicality concerns, there’s a chance LA views him more in the career backup vein rather than as a future full-time starter. The Rams will have higher picks to burn in the years to come when Stafford reaches the final twilight stage of his career.
That said, Bennett has proven doubters wrong on several occasions already. We are talking about one of the most accomplished quarterbacks to emerge from the college ranks in recent memory; a proven winner who is comfortable spraying the football to NFL-caliber receivers. It wouldn’t be a complete shock to seem him exceed expectations again as a pro.