NFL Prospect or Not, UGA QB Stetson Bennett Is Primed for Success
The 25-year-old threw for 304 yards with four touchdowns on 18-of-25 passing on Monday night
A two-time champion after leading the Univesity of Georgia to a 65-7 victory over TCU in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday night, quarterback Stetson Bennett may be the most popular man in the Peach State.
An undersized former walk-on who weighs fewer than 200 pounds and isn’t six feet tall, Bennett will probably be less popular with pro scouts now that his playing career is done and he prepares to enter the NFL Draft at the age of 25, older than Super Wild Card Weekend quarterbacks including Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence and Brock Purdy.
As USA Today points out, the red flags with the back-to-back national champ, who threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns on 18-of-25 passing without an interception and rushed for two more scores, are fairly obvious: average arm, slender build and undersized.
Following Monday’s win, Georgia coach Kirby Smart took up Bennett’s cause and did some lobbying on his behalf, saying his “mental makeup is such of a quarterback that believes he can make every throw” and that he “needs an opportunity to play for a long time at the next level.”
Given what he was able to accomplish at the collegiate level, Bennett certainly may get selected during the three-day draft from April 27-29 in Kansas City, but there’s no guarantee he will make an NFL roster or ever get a chance to start for an NFL team.
Just ask former Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray, who never won a national title but is the all-time SEC leader in passing yards and touchdown passes. One of the best quarterback’s in school history, Murray was picked in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams during a professional career that didn’t last long and never featured any playing time.
Now an analyst for ESPN and the SEC Network, Murray doesn’t know if Bennett will be able to find success at the next level. However, he’s fairly sure Bennett will land on his feet whether he makes it to the NFL or not as many former star NCAA quarterbacks have done.
“Winning a national championship is special, especially in the Southeast where football means so much. Georgia winning a national championship is probably a bigger deal than the Atlanta Falcons winning the Super Bowl,” Murray tells InsideHook. “Georgia football is just a really big deal. You can make a lot of great connections that are going to help you for the rest of your life. A Georgia national championship ring on your finger can open up a lot of doors for guys who maybe don’t have the ability to play at the next level. You can walk into a lot of meetings with that ring on and help yourself out a lot.”
With a pair of rings, Bennett has already helped himself out a lot whether he ends up making the NFL or not.
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