6-4/274 Texas A&M
Pros: Has a decent first step with a nice motor. Uses his hands well. Has a decent swim move and a rudimentary spin move. Shows some strength and potential to get leverage vs. the run. Has experience dropping back into coverage on zone blitzes. Can make plays in pursuit and in the open field.
Cons: Lacks the speed to turn the corner, and won’t consistently beat guys off the edge at the next level. Needs to improve his recognition, as he struggled with the zone read at times. Despite experience, not very fluid when moving in space. Needs to get stronger to improve against the run.
Overview: Bennett is a solid player that is productive, but nothing special. He is the older brother of Martellus Bennett, now with the Dallas Cowboys. He seems like your classic edge rusher on the college level, but really is more of a finesse guy.
NFL Forecast: If teams expect him to help them out as an edge rusher, I think they are going to be disappointed. Bennett is a guy that reminds me a bit of Rod Coleman. I think he’s the classic type of end that is undersized in college, but if he puts on a little weight and muscle could make the transition to being an interior player. Coleman started out as a 265-pound DE, but over time, bulked up and became a solid interior pass rusher at DT. I think Bennett should and could do the same. Ideally, he could develop into a nice one-gap pass rusher. Probably will never be great vs. the run, but neither was Coleman. If Bennett sticks at DE, I don’t see him being anything more than an average rotational player. The only way I think he could have long-term success there is if he gets stronger and better as a run stopper. Just never be anything more than a 2-3 sack guy as an edge rusher. But inside, I think he has the potential to be a 5-8 sack guy on the right team.
ATL Forecast: While Bennett is probably good enough to land a role as the Falcons third or fourth end right away, he probably would never rise much more than that on the depth chart unless he made those improvements vs. the run. And even then, he’d be a two-down player much like Chauncey Davis. But if he was to bulk up and try his hand at defensive tackle, he’d be a project, but inside two or three years he could be a really significant contributor to the team’s interior pass rusher. He’d be a similar player to Kindal Moorehead, but potentially better.
Value: He’s a middle round pick, that probably shouldn’t be taken before the fifth round because of his status as a project. Purely as an edge, he’s at best a sixth round pick. When you start to look at him as a potential tackle, that’s when he becomes a fifth rounder.
Scouting Reports of defensive ends in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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