A lot of us while watching the draft went “huh?” when Martellus Bennett was drafted in the second round. I was among that list as well. Weren’t the wide receiver and Safety positions more of a critical need at this time? Didn’t we have a tight end in Anthony Fasano whom we gave away for a fourth rounder only to use a second rounder this year to get another one? Most of us were scratching our collective heads.
So after the initial emotion, we tried to do the internal mental spins in our mind to make ourselves feel better about the pick. He may be better than Fasano, he is tall and a red-zone threat, he can be depth to play the two tight end sets, or he could be the next Bill Joe Dupree.
Most online draft boards I saw had him as the 3rd or 4th best tight end. Nfldraftscout.com for example had him behind Dustin Keller, John Carlson and Fred “I need an alarm clock” Davis. His junior class credentials look good. He is listed at 6’-6”, had 49 catches and four touchdowns, up from his sophomore season of 38 catches and three touchdowns. The scouting reports state that he is a bit slow with a 40 time of 4.71. I have seen conflicting reports of his blocking ability but most say he adapt in this area. The reports praise his hands and ability to adjust to poorly thrown balls.
But maybe the biggest surprise would be the character behind the name. He started things right off the bat with a memorable quote. But also, he did not start off on a good foot with the coach for making a Jessica Simpson comment. For those who have not heard it already it was, “”Any quarterback that can get Jessica Simpson I’ve got to play with him.”
Another quote associated with him is: “Football is my wife and basketball is my mistress,” when referring to his dual sport interests. In one film clip I saw from him at mini-camp he was genuinely enjoying himself during the interview questions.
No doubt he will be a media favorite this season, and seasons to come. He will probably become a fan favorite and make us forget the initial shock of picking him when he scores his first touchdown over a shorter defender.