DE Michael Bennett is a catalyst type of player. He is a Love-him-or-hate-him type of NFL player, and oftentimes the same fan base is torn right down the middle. In fact, that migration from one emotion to the other can happen in the same game, multiple times. Bennett is a 6-foot-4 275-pound defender who can play a dominating style on the football field.
Much like Timmy Jernigan, Bennett is not an “edge” rusher per se. Instead, he is a versatile defensive lineman who can get after a quarterback, but who can also play solid run defense. In 558 defensive snaps in 2019, Bennett made 27 tackles, 6.5 quarterback sacks, eight hurries, nine quarterback knockdowns, and 24 quarterback pressures. Not bad for a player who is about to turn 35 years old.
Donald boosts Bennett
One selling point for the LA Rams in considering veteran players on defense is their career boost by lining up alongside Aaron Donald. We know that the offensive line will focus two or three blockers on Aaron Donald, leaving teammates to one-on-one matchups across the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, that has not translated into quarterback pressures from the young edge rushers on the team.
Bennett will deliver. Yes, he may bring eventual distractions to the Rams locker room. Yes, he may want to convert game day production into renegotiating his contract. He may talk loud and long if someone holds an open microphone up to him. But the truth of the matter is that he wins at the line of scrimmage, and he would win on the Rams defensive line. Is that worth a tryout? You bet. Is it worth signing him to a contract? That’s up to the team.
Edge options are evaporating. If the Rams have doubts about the ability to develop young players, the team will need to act now. It’s not that the Rams risk losing games until they act. It’s just that the available options continue to be scooped up. By this time in three weeks, all options could be signed.