The LA Rams wanted to add a talented young quarterback to their roster and did so by selecting former Georgia QB Stetson Bennett with the 128th overall pick in Round 4 of the 2023 NFL Draft. While some had argued that the Rams drafted Bennett too early, the LA Rams were quickly impressed by Stetson's ability to move in the pocket, improvise when the play broke down, and launch passes like heat-seeking missiles into the outstretched arms of route-running receivers.
The Rams loved Bennett throughout training camp, promoting him to their primary backup quarterback role as the preseason began. However, events did not occur in a way that allowed the Rams to entrust Bennett with a backup quarterback role when the season began.
A strange twist
Stetson Bennett, unlike other players, did not progress as hoped through the Rams preseason. In fact, he regressed. Some of the regression can be rationalized by the Rams practice of benching players once they have reached the threshold of starting or playing a significant rotational role for the team. But for Bennett, as the primary backup, he was tasked with running the Rams offense in preseason with second and third string players against the opposing teams' starters.
That proved to be too much for him to overcome, as he was himself learning a new offense as a rookie for the LA Rams. His final game for the Rams in preseason, a shellacking at the hands of the Denver Broncos, was so uninspiring that I feared that he may lose his spot on the Rams depth chart to his teammate, veteran QB Brett Maher
It's not unusual for rookies to struggle a bit as they start their NFL careers. It's even more common for rookies to struggle their first year in the NFL. Even franchise quarterbacks, who are selected early in Round 1 of an NFL draft, are given nearly limitless resources to learn and run an NFL offense. With quarterbacks who hear their names called out on Day 3, those resources to prepare them for their first NFL season are far more limited.
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