American Football

Is 25th a fair ranking for Rams QB Stetson Bennett among backups?

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Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Reaction has been mixed towards the polarizing rookie signal caller

Despite not having set foot onto an NFL field, doubt continues to cloud the potential of Los Angeles Rams rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett. Even after winning back-to-back national championships, analysts around the league are uncertain whether that collegiate success will follow Bennett to the pros.

In a recent Sports Illustrated article by Gilberto Manzano ranking all 32 backup QBs from worst to best, the Georgia product was slotted at number 25. Manzano believes the rookie signal caller checks some boxes but puts him low based on his obvious lack of experience. This is what the SI writer had to say about Bennett:

“Many were surprised by the Rams’ drafting Bennett in the fourth round last month, but they needed a rookie quarterback who would quickly develop as a backup to Matthew Stafford. Bennett checked the boxes with age (25), experience (two-time national champion at Georgia) and familiarity (friend of Stafford’s). He’s technically a rookie, but Stetson fits the mold of a veteran QB.”

Bennett was ranked one spot ahead of fellow rookie Hendon Hooker of the Detroit Lions. He was also ahead of notable veteran QBs including Kyle Allen (Bills), Trevor Siemian (Bengals) and Easton Stick (Chargers). I understand Bennett has yet to take a snap in the pros but he has to at least be better than Zach Wilson right now. Wilson was slotted three spots ahead at 22.

Either way, the Rams are lucky to have a quarterback behind Matthew Stafford who fits that veteran mold. Given his age and experience playing in an NFL style offense at Georgia, Bennett can step in and hold down the fort in games that John Wolford and Bryce Perkins weren’t able to last season. There’s a reason neither one of those guys are on the roster anymore.

Bennett has the accuracy and poise to lead a Sean McVay offense. Just look at what he was able to do in the Peach Bowl against Ohio State in last year’s CFP.

His ability to handle pressure in crunch time demonstrates that Bennett can be quite successful in the NFL if given the opportunity. Bennett was never a sexy prospect and he doesn’t have to perform like one either in LA. What the Rams need is a player who has the capability to keep the offense afloat should Stafford be once again forced to miss extensive time. Although we probably won’t get to see the rookie in action until preseason.

The media has been having their fun at Bennett’s expense ever since LA took him in the fourth round of the draft. Yes, we get it, the guy is older than desired in a rookie QB. Get over it and quit it with the Stafford’s grandad jokes already! Why they continue treating him like that geezer Brandon Weeden is anyone’s guess. It would just be nice if analysts could speak highly of Bennett like his former Georgia teammate Brian Herrien.

If the rook can bring that unlimited confidence to the huddle whenever called upon, Stetson Bennett will be ranked in the upper half of backup QBs before we know it.

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