After an long, unexpected slide in the draft, Michael Bennett is finally headed to the NFL. With the 180th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Jaguars have selected Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Michael Bennett. Bennett is coming off his senior season and captaincy at Ohio State -- a season that ended with a national championship victory over the Oregon Ducks.
Bennett sizes in well for a pro defensive tackle at 6’2 and 293 pounds. His size, speed off the snap and excellent technique combined to earn him seven sacks on the 2014 season, including two in the Big Ten championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers and one in the Sugar Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Following the season, Bennett earned third-team All-American honors and his second consecutive second-team All-Big Ten honors.
While Bennett was not healthy enough to workout at the NFL combine, participating only in the 40 yard dash, he was impressive at Ohio State’s pro day in March. He followed up his 4.95 second 40-yard dash from the combine with a 4.80 at the pro day. He also managed a 32 inch vertical jump, which would have placed him in fifth among defensive tackles at the combine.
Bennett’s downfall would be that he relies on short bursts of speed, so longer, strung-out plays may prove difficult for him. However, his strong technique and his impressive speed will earn him props as he continues his journey to make the Jaguars' roster. Some analysts were speculating that Bennett's surprisingly fall may have also been to a medical concern. If Bennett can be healthy and find the right system though, he should be a very productive player. He certainly showed that for Ohio State.
After finally coming off the board, Bennett reacted with his trademark good attitude:
Could not ask for a better fit or a better city. Can't wait to start my pro career in Jacksonville. Thank you @Jaguars for the opportunity— Mike (@mike63bennett) May 2, 2015