Where will Stetson Bennett get picked in the 2023 NFL draft?

It’s not often that a quarterback prospect like Georgia’s Stetson Bennett walks into the NFL draft conversation with his track record of success at the college level, but not much in terms of draft projection.

But that seems to be the case this year, as most analysts see Bennett as a Fringe late-round pick based on performance and intangibles.

This week, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. stated Bennett was asked on “First Take” about his projections for Bennett’s eventual draft slot, and he predicts that the back-to-back national champion will be a third-round selection.

Bennett is one of the most successful quarterbacks in college football history, leading the Bulldogs to two straight national titles, with one of the most dominant offenses in the entire country in both years.

His most recent Championship win was an Absolute thumping of TCU, finishing with an unheard of score of 65-7, where he casually tossed four touchdown passes (and rushed for two more) with over 300 yards, and had a quarterback rating of 99.5 before being ceremoniously revived after the first play of the fourth quarter.

After initially being a walk on in 2017 (he received a Scholarship in 2018, after playing a year in junior college), Bennett eventually earned the starting job in 2021. In his two seasons as the starter, Bennett has scored 67 total touchdowns, with only 14 turnovers, making him one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country.

That said, it would be disingenuous to say the pieces around him were not elite, given the receivers he’s had and the Absolute Monster of a running game that the Georgia offense was based around, which averaged 205 yards a game last season.

Bennett is a smart player who understands what’s in front of him, mobile enough to make plays both in and out of the pocket, and dangerous enough on designed runs to make defenses pay for forgetting about him. He’s been accurate as a passer throughout his career, and has a snappy release that gets the ball out quickly.

He does lack NFL-level arm strength, and it becomes noticeable when deep passes are left hanging, and his throws lack a certain zip that’s needed to fit into tight windows at the next level. His size is also a concern, as Bennett is listed at 5-11, 190 pounds.

So, while Bennett will almost certainly be drafted at some point this year, it will likely be a late-round flyer based on his winning record and intangibles. He should project as more of a developmental backup quarterback than a future starter in the league.

The third round feels a little high for Bennett, and while nothing should ever surprise anyone anymore when it comes to the draft, seeing a team spend a Day 2 pick on Bennett would certainly raise some eyebrows.

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Story Originally appeared on Draft Wire

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