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Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett might be a two-time college football national champion, but he is also sliding in betting odds to be picked up in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Bennett, who is already 25, is smaller than the prototypical quarterback, has several off-field issues that are coming into question, and is accused of being a beneficiary of Georgia’s superior talent rather than a true takeover player himself. He also pales in comparison to his contemporaries such as Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson, among others.
So where does Bennett land and does he get drafted at all? Two great questions, and two questions that we have provided our thoughts on.
Odds current from DraftKings Sportsbook as of April 20
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Bennett has a very low chance of being selected in any of the early rounds, especially the first. His +10000 odds to be one of the first 31 picks yield an implied probability of .99%, or less than one in one hundred (note that the first round usually consists of 32 picks, but the Miami Dolphins were stripped of their first pick for violating the league’s integrity policy).
Young leads the odds to go to the Carolina Panthers first overall, and Stroud is second. Richardson is also a “project player” that teams have shown a willingness to move up to get because of the potential, even if the production does not compare to the other hot names on the board.
11 quarterbacks have better odds to be drafted before Bennett, from Young all the way down to Stanford’s Tanner McKee, who only threw for 2,947 yards, 13 touchdowns, and eight interceptions last season. That’s not even remotely close to Bennett’s 4,127 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions, which shows the uphill battle he is climbing.
Bennett is also tied with Malik Cunningham, Max Duggan, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Clayton Tune, and Aidan O’Connell for draft odds. That’s despite each of the last five national championship-winning quarterbacks going on to be first-round draft picks and first-year starters in the NFL.
The NFL draft starts with the first round on Thursday, April 27, and goes to rounds two and three on Friday, April 28. So, if Bennett is going to hear his name on day two, he will need to be somewhere between the 32nd and 104th.
His second-round and third-round draft odds of +5000 and +2000 imply 1.96% and 4.76% probability. While that kind of value doesn’t just come around all the time, it also exists for a reason. Bennett’s ability to see over the line and hold up against the size of NFL defenders are major concerns, and he does not have amazing arm talent.
To his credit, he has a very quick first step and ran the sixth-fastest 40-yard dash time of quarterbacks at the combine (4.67). He also played extremely well in big games and has a nice feel for timing with his receivers.
Bennett’s value feels like one of a player with a high floor more than a high ceiling, which is less valuable to teams in the early rounds. So, while he could go on the second day, a pig could also fly over the draft-attending crowd. Make of that what you will.
Betting odds show that Bennett is likely to be a late-round pick if he is drafted at all.
A record 69 quarterbacks saw game time in the 2022 NFL season. Part of that was because teams tried to use new concepts and styles to create mismatches with opponents, but a much larger part of it was because quarterbacks were getting injured left right and center.
The San Francisco 49ers proved that having a strong backup quarterback is invaluable. They went 10-2 with Mr. Irrelevant and first-year pro-Brock Purdy under center and were a game away from the Super Bowl until he ruptured his UCL in the NFC Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Because of that and Bennett’s unimpeachable resume, there is a strong chance that he gets drafted as opposed to signing with a team as an undrafted rookie free agent. This is pure speculation, but his proven ability in big moments and age (which is bad for top-end prospects but a sign of maturity for late-round picks) make him feel like a sixth-round pick.
As previously mentioned, Bennett is not some nobody quarterback prospect that is trying to sneak his way onto an NFL roster. He is a two-time national champion that captained arguably the most dominant teams in recent college football history.
Of course, his physical limitations will scare certain teams off, but others will be willing to ignore them. For example, the Pittsburgh Steelers took 25-year-old Chris Oladokun in the seventh round of last year’s draft, six picks before the Dolphins took another 25-year-old, Skyler Thompson, who ended up playing the Buffalo Bills to a three-point differential in the AFC playoffs less than one year later.
Bennett has a much better track record than both of those players did in college, and his name holds weight. The odds might suggest that he is most likely to go undrafted, but that feels a bit disingenuous given what we know about him and recent precedent.
Picking one specific team that will draft Bennett is largely a shot in the dark. He is presumably going to go on the third day of the draft, and teams will be making all sorts of trades up until that point that will drastically shift the order of picks.
A couple of teams that might be in the market for a young backup quarterback include the New York Jets, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Tennessee Titans.
The Jets are supposedly going to bring in Aaron Rodgers if they ever get a trade worked out with the Green Bay Packers. Regular backup Mike White signed with the Dolphins, and they have clearly moved out of the Zach Wilson phase of their organization.
The Raiders let Derek Carr and backup Jaret Stidham walk in the offseason and brought in Jimmy Garoppolo to be the new starter. Jimmy G is a solid player but is one of the most injury-prone QBs in football and has a backup hierarchy for Brian Hoyer and Chase Garbers—not the best.
The Titans seem to be looking at their best days with Ryan Tannehill in the rear-view mirror and will probably move on from him in the near future. Unfortunately for them, last year’s third-round draft pick, Malik Willis, looked mediocre at best and flat-out horrible at worst in his appearances, and they don’t have a third quarterback signed to their roster. Adding a proven commodity, albeit at the college level, would not be the worst late-round decision.
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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