Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett apologized to his family and said he's being honest in meetings with NFL teams this week about his public intoxication arrest on Jan. 29.
The former walk-on is viewed as an NFL longshot with limited athleticism, size and arm strength by pro standards and despite winning two national championships as the Bulldogs' starting quarterback, his path to the NFL is off to a rocky start.
Bennett was arrested on public intoxication charges and turned down an invitation to the top pre-draft prospect showcase, the Senior Bowl, leaving NFL general managers to scratch their heads about the 25-year-old's priorities.
"It was a mistake that everybody's aware of," Bennett said Friday at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. "I understand why that can't happen. I've talked to coaches about it, talked to GMs. Apologized to my family. That's who I feel worst about. I felt like I let them down, because no matter where I go now -- and even without all of this -- I've got an obligation. I'm the fourth (Bennett named Stetson). Can't do that if your last name is Bennett, and I know better."
Bennett was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2022 and rose to prominence because of his humble beginnings as a walk-on in Athens who fled for junior college only to return and claim the starting role. Bennett is one of at least nine Georgia players arrested in the past 14 months, but said individual decisions and not a culture issue are the problem.
"Those were individual mistakes that those individuals are responsible for. Not a culture issue," Bennett said Friday.
Maturity wasn't one of the issues scouts anticipated with Bennett -- he'll be 26 in October, the same age as Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson -- and decision-making, at a position where each split-second call can be make-or-break, is one of the qualities Colts head coach Shane Steichen said was a must for quarterbacks.
Bennett isn't flying solo in Indianapolis with 13 Georgia players in attendance. He's also one of five Southeastern Conference quarterbacks invited to the combine, which offered spots to only 15 total quarterbacks.
Based on Field Level Media rankings, Bennett is projected to be picked in the final two rounds of the draft or become a priority free agent. Bryce Young (Alabama), Will Levis (Kentucky), Anthony Richardson (Florida) and Hendon Hooker (Tennessee) are projected as first- or second-round picks.
--Field Level Media