Could Stetson Bennett Take Over Matthew Stafford?
Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (QB02) throws the ball during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 National Football League draft occurred between the 27th and 29th of April at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. Much like the NFL season, the draft attracted much attention and was watched live on television by millions of people. A total of 259 players were selected during the draft, including 14 quarterbacks, one of which was Stetson Bennett.

Bennett Joins the Rams

Stetson Bennett joined the Los Angeles Rams as the 128th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Bennett comes out of Georgia and joins the Rams ahead of the 2023-24 season, having previously played for Jones College. Bennett played high school football at Pierce County High School and helped them to three consecutive state playoff appearances.

Interestingly, having thrown for 3,724 yards and scored 40 touchdowns as a senior, many coaches thought Bennett was too small. However, Bennett proved them wrong in the 2022 season, and he passed for 4,127 yards, setting a record for passing yards in a single season. That was enough to capture the attention of the Rams in the NFL Draft, and Bennett will link up with the 2021 Super Bowl champions.

Why the Pick Makes Sense

There has been plenty of chatter since the Rams picked Bennett in the NFL Draft. The first issue for some fans is the age of the quarterback, and Bennett is 25 years old. That makes Bennett much older than many of the other prospects in the draft, and his room for improvement is more limited than that of a younger player. There is also the issue of his recent arrest. Bennett was arrested on public intoxication charges in January 2023, having banged on the doors of residential homes in the early morning hours. This behavior has led to questions about his off-field character, which will surely arise if Bennett does not perform on the field.

However, in terms of his potential role at the Rams, Bennett looks a good fit. There is no doubting Bennett’s big game experience, and he is good at reading the defense. Bennett is also renowned for his sound decision-making on the field, which Sean McVay, head coach of the Rams, demands from his quarterback. Bennett boasts leadership qualities, which will be welcome in the locker room, and as a draft prospect, there is plenty to like about his game from the team’s point of view.

Competition with Stafford

Matthew Stafford is the first-choice quarterback for the Rams; of that, there is no doubt. The arrival of Bennett does not change that fact and will not lead to much in the way of increased competition for the quarterback position. However, it is worth noting Stafford was limited to nine games in 2022 due to injury, and while he expects to be ready for the first week of next season, the cover was not there in the previous campaign.

The Rams need depth in the quarterback position, and Bennett will provide good cover, but it is unlikely to be anything more than that at this stage. Stafford has a contract through 2026 and is not ready to give up his starting position soon. Should Stafford pick up another injury, Bennett will be expected to step into the team and keep them ticking until the first-choice quarterback returns.

Does Bennett have the ability to win games for the Rams? That is the million-dollar question, and for those wanting to back the Rams for success in the 2023 season, several betting sites are accepting Neteller if you are looking to place a wager this season.

In truth, some fans will feel the selection of Bennett was a waste of a fourth-round pick and would have been better suited for a sixth or seventh-round pick. Unless Stafford is injured, Bennett will not be seen on the field much in the upcoming season.

If Bennett is prepared to stay for the long haul and is happy that he will be the second choice for the next two years, there may be an opportunity for him in the future, as Stafford will be 37 years of age. That means Bennett could take over from Stafford in the coming years, but he will need to have patience and accept being the backup for the time being.