Former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett impressed at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. But despite his nice day, Draft Wire still has Bennett ranked as the No. 11 quarterback prospect in the 2023 NFL draft.
ESPN’s Jordan Reid has Bennett a bit higher, with the UGA legend checking in at No. 9 in his rankings. Reid considers Bennett a day-three selection in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft and even provided readers with the team he sees as the best fit for the 5-foot-11 passer.
Reid described why he thinks the Miami Dolphins are the ideal fit for Bennett:
“With a full supporting cast, he was able to showcase his decision-making and accuracy,” Reid said.
“A similar situation in Miami and an offense that stresses execution in the middle of the field suits his best traits well. The odds are heavily against Bennett being a long-term solution for any team, but he’s worth a shot as a well-accomplished late-round hopeful.
The Dolphins currently have former Alabama passer Tua Tagovailoa on the roster through at least the 2024 season after Miami picked up the fifth year option on Tagovailoa. But Tagovailoa suffered multiple concussions in 2022 that impacted his availability.
Nick Saban, his former coach at Alabama, recently commented on the concussions while on the Stephen A. Smith’s podcast.
“I hate it that he’s having these issues and problems,” Saban said. “I would trust the medical staff to make the right choices and decisions for his safety, his future. I’d love to see him continue to be able to play and have success, but I don’t want him to put himself at risk either.
“I think any time that guys start having multiple concussions, it’s a cause for concern. But again, I think that’s got to be sort of ‘How concerning is it?’ is a medical question that needs to be answered by some people who are experts in that field.”
After winning two national championships and putting up great numbers at UGA, Bennett needed a nice day at the combine after not playing in the Senior Bowl. And that’s exactly what he did. Bennett threw some excellent deep balls during passing drills, posted a strong 33.5-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-10 broad jump and a 4.67 40-yard dash.
According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Bennett’s performance was good enough to send him shooting up the draft boards:
“I thought Bennett had an outstanding workout Saturday, both in the passing drills and in the athletic testing,” Kiper wrote. “Since he didn’t play in an all-star game after his season ended, this was the first time NFL teams have gotten to see him up close. He threw the ball very well. He ran a better-than-expected 4.67 40-yard dash.”
Bennett’s ability to run the ball is nothing new. It’s the factor Kirby Smart always pointed to when asked what separated Bennett from the other guys on the roster.
Bennett began his career as a walk-on at Georgia in 2017, when he redshirted his freshman season. Prior to the 2018 season, he transferred to Jones Community College. He came back in 2019 and never looked back, winning two national titles and cementing himself as the greatest of all-time in Georgia history.
“Bennett’s college production isn’t in question; he completed 68.3% of his passes with 27 touchdowns and seven picks in 2022. The question is more about his frame, as he measured just under 5-foot-11 — a little taller than Bryce Young — and his arm strength,” Kiper wrote.
In 2020, Bennett started five games but was nowhere close to being the Bulldogs’ trusted guy at quarterback. Come 2021, Bennett gained the starting job early in the season after an injury to J.T. Daniels. He guided the team to a national championship win over Alabama in the 2021 season to bring home Georgia’s first trophy since 1980.
Bennett opted to return to UGA in 2022, and he led the Bulldogs to a 15-0 record, which included both an SEC championship and a second consecutive national championship win. He finished fourth in Heisman voting. In 2022, Bennett threw for 4,127 yards, 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He rushed for an additional 10 touchdowns.
Bennett’s career stats read 601 of 923, 65.1%, 8,428 yards, 66 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, 530 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.