In 2022, the San Francisco 49ers used the final pick of the NFL Draft to select quarterback Brock Purdy out of Iowa State.
Purdy then became the revelation of the season, leading the Niners to NFC Championship Game before tearing his UCL having to leave the game.
Could former Georgia Bulldogs star Stetson Bennett be the Los Angeles Rams’ answer to Brock Purdy?
Bennett helped the Dawgs to their first national title in over 40 years in 2022. But he did so mainly as a game manager. As senior, he was downright dominant. Bennett threw for 4,128 yards 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in his final college season, leading Georgia to a second-consecutive national title.
In two College Football Playoff games against Ohio State and TCU, he went a combined 41-59 for 702 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.
But concerns about his size (5-11, 190), age (25) and character caused him to fall to the back end of the fourth round.
Los Angeles selected Bennett with the 128th overall pick, and the early returns sound extremely positive.
“I’ve been really pleased with him,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of Bennett according to Chase Darden of Yahoo Sports. “The one thing that stands out is when the ball is in Stetson’s hands, the game makes sense to him. He’s got a good feel for being able to get through progressions quickly. He can feel space on the back end as it relates to different coverage counters that he’s seen, but he feels open areas and gets through things quickly. I love the athleticism but there’s a lot of work to be done. He stays nice and steady, doesn’t get too high or low, and he’s fun to be around.”
Veteran QB Matthew Stafford, who went to Georgia as well, has also taken note.
“He’s done a great job,” Stafford said. “Though it’s a lot for a young guy to process and a lot to learn he’s done a great job. He’s got great athleticism, throws the ball well, and does a lot of things really well. I’m happy for him.”
Stafford, 34, played in just nine games in 2022 after elbow surgery in the previous offseason.
He’s undoubtedly still the Rams’ starter entering the 2023 season. But it may soon be time to start looking over his shoulder.