How Mayfield opened door to LA Rams drafting Stetson Bennett

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The LA Rams seemed to go off script quite a bit this year in terms of the rookies they selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. In the past, the Rams draft would not add a quarterback, infrequently added offensive linemen, and most likely would add skill players. But in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Rams' front office seemed to chuck their strategy guide into the trash can and wing it a bit.

What resulted is a pretty impressive rookie draft class. While the immediate grades are a bit spread out from A's to C's, there are plenty of players to love in this rookie class. One player who has proven to be a bit polarizing is the Rams' selection of former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett with the 128th overall pick in Round 4 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Historically, the Rams have counted on their superior offensive strategy to keep this team competitive.

That all changed over the course of the 2022 NFL season. The Rams offensive line was ruthlessly battered by an onslaught of injuries. With a patchwork offensive line, the Rams starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford, took a shellacking as well. That forced the Rams to start backup quarterbacks Bryce Perkins and John Wolford, neither of whom proved to be especially effective. In fact, it was not until the LA Rams claimed Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield that the team began to turn the corner on offense.

Stetson Bennett has that Baker Mayfield aura

Mayfield stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 215 pounds. While not known for his ability to run, he can pull the ball down under pressure and run far enough to move the chains. In 277 offensive snaps with the Rams, he rushed 15 times for 37 yards and two first downs, and threw the football 129 times, completing 89 passes for 850 yards, four touchdowns, and just two interceptions. But he was thrown into the fire just hours after getting off the plane to lead the Rams offense. What might he have done with a full training camp under his belt?

While we will likely never know that answer, we do know that Mayfield had a fearlessness that was so valuable to the Rams' offense. And all indications are that new backup quarterback Stetson Bennett replicates many of those fearless qualities in his style of play as well. Stetson Bennett stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 192 pounds. While he is a bit smaller than Mayfield, he has many of the same characteristics of the Rams' former backup QB,

I think what it comes down to it is the fact that Bennett is hell-bent on winning any competition he is engaged in. Can you really coach winning at the quarterback position? I'm not sure that you can. You can coach how to read defenses, how to plant your feet, how to throw out of cycle, and even when to scramble and when to throw the pass away. But that eye-of-the-tiger fire that compels athletes to find some inner strength to win against all odds? I think that has to be part of the athlete like height or weight. Stetson Bennett has it:

And so, you marry a rookie quarterback with a penchant for winning football games with a head coach who will compete to the last second of a game that is well out of reach, and you may have the makings of something special.

Yes, this team will need time to develop and grow. Most certainly this rookie quarterback will need time and coaching to learn Sean McVay's offense. But when these two get their ducks in a row, I think the Rams could win some football games in no uncertain terms. I think that Stetson Bennett has more than a chip on his shoulder. Even as a rookie, I believe he will push Coach McVay to be the best offensive mind in the NFL once more.

Trending. What is the best strategy for LA Rams to develop rookie QB Stetson Bennett?. dark

Iron sharpens iron. Right now, the Rams have some very sharp offensive swords.