untung99.biz: Rams must decide if this rookie QB is ready to replace Matthew Stafford

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Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams will be wrapping up Organized Team Activities this week with the final day of mandatory mini-camp taking place on Thursday. Once that is concluded, the team won’t take the field again until training camp.

This is a time for players to show coaches what they’re capable of and that they are ready to contribute in a primary role. Between now and the Rams’ first preseason game, I’m going to preview approximately 45 players on the roster. The goal here will be to highlight players looking to take that next step in 2023 as well as players who will serve as key depth on the roster. I may expand into the occasional star or roster-bubble player, but for the most part we’ll be looking at the players who will truly make or break the Rams season.

To start off the series, we’ll begin with fourth-round rookie, quarterback Stetson Bennett.

College Career

Stetson Bennett had one of the more prolific college careers ever. He finished winning back-to-back national titles with Georgia. While the Bulldogs were stacked from a talent standpoint, it’s hard to see just any quarterback winning at the same level that Bennett did while in Athens.

Bennett has never been the most-talented quarterback and it took him time to finally get his opportunity. He walked on at Georgia in 2017, competing with Jake Fromm and Justin Fields. After transferring, Bennett returned to Georgia to backup J.T. Daniels. Following an injury to Daniels, Bennett got his opportunity and proceeded to win two national championships. Last season, he finished sixth in the nation in passing yards.

The Rams drafted Bennett in the fourth-round of the 2023 NFL Draft when many thought he would go in the sixth or seventh-round. The Georgia quarterback has always had a chip on his shoulder and that will be no different as he enters the NFL.

The Good/Best Case Scenario

Unlike most rookie quarterbacks, Bennett is someone with a lot experience and he’s consistently shown that no moment is too big. Whereas quarterbacks like Jaren Hall out of BYU might have had a higher ceiling in the draft, Bennett brings experience from an NFL offense coached by Todd Monken. He also add athleticism and mobility which is something that Sean McVay will value.

The best case scenario for Bennett is for him to show during training camp that he’s ready to take on back-up quarterback responsibilities. This would allow the Rams to keep two quarterbacks on the roster and prioritize depth elsewhere.

The Bad/Worst Case Scenario

While we can talk about his average arm talent, one of the biggest negatives on Bennett is that he is 26 years old. He’s only nine months younger than Brett Rypien who the Rams signed this offseason. It’s unlikely that Bennett is the quarterback of future as he may be close to 30 by the time Matthew Stafford were to retire. At the end of the day, he is probably a career-backup and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The worst case scenario for Bennett is him not being as ready as the Rams need him to be in 2023. This would force the team to keep three quarterbacks with Bennett as QB3 to start the year. In an ideal scenario, we don’t see the rookie quarterback take the field this season. However, in the case that he does, the Rams need Bennett to be able to run the offense. There were times last year that Bryce Perkins and John Wolford couldn’t run the offense at all. The Rams need a backup quarterback that they can confident in when needed.

Biggest Question: Will Bennett be ready to backup Stafford?

After 2022 in which Stafford suffered multiple concussions and was eventually shut down with a spinal cord contusion, there will be questions about his health. As mentioned above, if Stafford does go down, the Rams need Bennett to be ready and be able to run the offense. That’s a lot to ask of a rookie quarterback that was drafted in the fourth round.

There’s a lot that goes into being a backup quarterback and that’s big reason why the Rams brought in Rypien. The moment has rarely ever been too big for Bennett. However, we won’t know if Bennett is ready until we see him in live NFL action and take his first snaps under center.

Roster Battle

Bennett will be competing with Rypien as the QB2 on the roster. The rookie will be seen as the favorite here as the Rams would preferably like to only have to keep two quarterbacks. Rypien is a player with experience in the scheme and has starting experience in the NFL.

Over the past few years, McVay has kept a veteran backup with a developmental player in the quarterback room. This would seem to be the model if the Rams were to keep both Rypien and Bennett. However, if Bennett can show enough in training camp and the preseason, McVay may be comfortable only keeping two quarterbacks.

2023 Outlook and What to Expect

Bennett will be Stafford’s backup in 2023 and the biggest thing will be for him to show that he can be a professional. Can the rookie be a positive addition to the quarterback room and then show that he’s ready when his number is called?

The backup quarterback position isn’t appreciated until its needed. This is something that the Rams learned last season with Wolford and Perkins. If Bennett is asked to fill in for Stafford, he needs to show that he can competently run the offense.

Chances of Making Final Roster

As a fourth-round pick and the favorite to be the backup behind Stafford, it would take a lot for Bennett not to make the roster. He’ll be on the roster in 2023, learning behind Stafford and then filling in if he’s needed.

Final Roster Confidence: 10/10