Stetson Bennett became one of the best stories in college football, becoming a two-time national champion and a fan-favorite as the starting quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs. Now, the former walk-on could be facing long odds of making it in the NFL.
Bennett, who is taller than projected No. 1 pick Bryce Young, is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in modern college football history. He won two national champions, earned offensive MVP in both title games and earned second-team All-SEC honors as a senior.
- Stetson Bennett career stats: 8,428 passing yards, 65% completion, 160.7 QB rating
However, Bennett is expected to be one of the last quarterbacks picked in the 2023 NFL Draft. Not only is he one of the smallest players at his position, but he also offers just average arm strength with below-average velocity and limited physical tools. However, it’s reportedly not the biggest problem many NFL teams have with him.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, a significant number of NFL executives have significant ‘non-football concerns’ regarding Bennett. There are red flags regarding his maturity, off-field issues and how he interviewed at the NFL Combine.
Bennett was arrested in January for public intoxication. Months later, TMZ released body-cam footage from the arrest. During his interaction with law enforcement, Bennett told officers they were “introducing yourself to a problem” and accused them of making up a “new, pretend law.” that would ruin his reputation.
Entering his age-26 season as a rookie, Bennett likely would’ve benefited from attending the Senior Bowl. It’s an opportunity for players who graduated to spend a week with an NFL coaching staff and prove themselves to scouts and executives in attendance.
Instead, the former Bulldogs’ star declined the invitation and relied on the NFL Scouting Combine and Georgia’s Pro Day. Evidently, the move backfired with one NFL executive telling Fowler that he now believes Bennett might not be drafted at all.
NFL teams are willing to take a chance on a young quarterback with off-field concerns if they offer significant upside. Given Bennett is one of the oldest players in the 2023 NFL Draft and teams believe his skill set is lower than his peers, the potential rewards don’t outweigh the risks of drafting him.