Pete Thamel reveals why Stetson Bennett isn't at the Senior Bowl, updates draft stock after arrest

Nick Schultz02/01/23
Article written by:On3 imageNick Schultz


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Despite winning two national championships and heading to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist, Stetson Bennett has not seen his name come up much in NFL Draft circles. In fact, he’s not at the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile — and ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Bennett turned down an invitation to the game.

Bennett, who was arrested in Dallas earlier this week on public intoxication charges, already had a tough journey to the NFL Draft for multiple reasons. In fact, Thamel said he predicted Bennett wouldn’t get drafted even before his arrest because of his size and age, which are two big factors as teams evaluate prospects.

However, there’s another factor in play considering Bennett doesn’t project to be a starter. Thamel said Bennett’s off-field behavior plays a role in how teams see him, and those concerns existed before this week’s incident in Dallas.

“Obviously, he was a splendid player,” Thamel said on The Paul Finebaum Show on Wednesday. “He was productive, he was clutch, he was a relentless winner. I would say, just generally speaking, talking to scouts about Stetson going into the end of this year … there were modest concerns about his off-field behavior. If you’re going to be drafted to be a backup in the NFL, you need to be a teacher’s pet, you need to have your nose in the book and you need to have your nose clean.

“Stetson Bennett, reputationally, didn’t follow along those lines at Georgia. That doesn’t make him a bad person. He was a regular college kid. That doesn’t fit the archetype for the NFL — the Chase Daniels of the world who are super productive and can can hold the clipboard and be ready to play at any time. I don’t think anyone was ever under the impression that Stetson Bennett would be an NFL starter.”

Even despite his thoughts about Bennett’s draft stock, Thamel predicted a team could take a chance on him because of how he performed in college. After all, he threw for 4,217 yards and 27 touchdowns this past season while leading Georgia to its second consecutive national championship.

It might not be easy after what happened this week, though.

“Look, he’ll get a chance,” Pete Thamel said. “Someone might take a flier on him. He obviously was a productive guy. But as of right now, I think the incident in Dallas the other night amplified concerns that teams have.”