Michael Bennett: Keep an eye on the defensive tackle


Michael Bennett may have gone overlooked in the 2015 NFL Draft, but he shouldn’t be overlooked any longer.

The Ohio State University star fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round of the draft earlier this offseason, but his draft position certainly doesn’t reflect his potential.

One of the more exciting standouts of his football program, Bennett should prove he can hang with high draft picks T.J. Yeldon and A.J. Cann during training camp. He’s a big-time defensive tackle, expect him to play like one.

Bennett will be plugged into the defensive line rotation wherever Gus bradley and Bob Babich think he can be most effective. He has the skills to succeed most along the interior of the line and while he is a skilled young player, he enters camp buries on the depth chart. Guys like Jared Odrick, Sen’Derrick Marks, Ziggy Hood, and Roy Miller are above him and unlikely to give up their positions anytime soon.

Training camp can be the opportunity for Bennett to shine, proving his value to the team without having to force his way onto the field. He’s working to get used to the heat and he’s approaching everything professionally. As a rookie, he’s doing everything right to make sure that he can earn more opportunities immediately.

While it is doubtful that a strong camp will help Bennett to crack into the starting lineup, expect him to give it his best shot. He could have been a perfectly safe pick in the third or second round of the draft and some teams could expect him to be a key cog in their defensive line rotation. The Jaguars have the luxury of a stout interior line, so Bennett will have to prove even more able. That’ll be difficult with some prime talents around him.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Bennett is going to work hard to give it a try, though. For that reason, he’ll be someone to watch for training camp. Keep an eye on him and see how well he is doing and how the coaches praise him to see if he is everything the Jags hope he is.

Michael Bennett was a draft steal in the sixth round. How big of a steal he’ll turn out to be is yet to be determined, though.

Next: Allen Robinson continues to get hype

More from Black and Teal