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Instant analysis of Rams drafting QB Stetson Bennett: A reach in the 4th round?

For the first time in the Sean McVay era, the Los Angeles Rams have drafted a quarterback. The selected Stetson Bennett out of Georgia on Saturday, using the 128th pick in the draft on the two-time national champion.

Bennett was a polarizing prospect because of his off-field character concerns and on-field success. He won a title in back-to-back years with Georgia but some teams were concerned about him off the field after he was arrested for public intoxication this past January.

He’s also 25 years old already, which presumably limits his ceiling and long-term upside compared to a younger prospect who might only be 21. Because of his uncertain draft stock, some had him going undrafted, while others believed he could go as early as he did: the fourth round.

For the Rams, this pick makes sense. Bennett has big-game experience and a skill set that Sean McVay looks for in a quarterback. He wants someone who displays good decision-making (on the field) and can read a defense, while also being a leader in the locker room. Bennett checks those boxes as a draft prospect.

The Rams needed a backup quarterback and Bennett should make for a pretty good one. He joins another former Bulldog, Matthew Stafford, in the quarterback room and can learn from him for at least a year or two before getting a shot to potentially take over if Stafford retires.

His size at 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds shouldn’t be a huge concern in a backup role, either. It’s not as if the Rams are planning for him to start 17 games a year beginning in 2023. In all likelihood, he’ll never become the starter unless Stafford retires in the next few years.

Los Angeles is bringing him in with the expectation that he’ll back up Stafford and be able to keep the team afloat if No. 9 goes down with an injury – something John Wolford, Bryce Perkins and Baker Mayfield were unable to do last season.

Bennett isn’t going to blow anyone away with his athleticism or speed but he’s more elusive than people think. He ran a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash and had a short shuttle time of 4.2 seconds, which was the best of the quarterbacks at the combine.

McVay has never had an especially mobile starting quarterback, but his backups have often been athletic – from Blake Bortles to Wolford to Perkins and Mayfield. Bennett follows that trend.

If the Rams used a sixth- or seventh-rounder on Bennett, it would be a lot easier to like this pick. But with this being just their fourth selection in the draft and their last one in the top 150, this feels like a reach for a player who probably won’t see the field very much in the next two years, if at all.

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Story originally appeared on Rams Wire