When I attended Giants OTAs last week, a player that I couldn’t help but notice was Martellus Bennett:
“Martellus Bennett is listed at 6’6, 270. We can see those numbers and know that he’s a big guy. But sometimes you don’t really grasp how enormous a player is until you see him in 3D. Bennett is one of those guys. I hadn’t really planned on paying too much attention to Marty, but I wound up watching him quite a bit. His athleticism is everything as advertised. It’s impressive how well he moves for a guy his size.
However, (and I’ll say this bluntly)… His route running sucks. On 2 consecutive plays, I watched him run a little 10 yard stop. Both times, he got to his spot quickly, but executed a very lazy turn back to the QB. I could have flipped around more quickly. On that kind of route, when you hit your spot, you want to turn your body sharply back to the QB and give him a big target. Bennett’s turns were slow and lazy.
In a weird way, I think this should be looked at as a positive. From what I saw, Bennett’s deficiencies are fixable. Last year, the Giants took a complete unknown in Jake Ballard and turned him into a guy that would contribute 604 receiving yards. In terms of pure talent, Ballard doesn’t touch Bennett with a 10 foot pole. It’ll be interesting to see what the Giants can do with him.”
In college, Bennett’s numbers weren’t particularly impressive:
Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M Rec Yards TD
2005 18 162 3
2006 38 497 3
2007 49 587 4
The Cowboys, however, saw a massive tight end with really impressive athleticism and drafted him in the 2nd round with the thinking that they could mold him into a good receiver. That never came close to materializing in four seasons:
Martellus Bennett, Dallas Rec Yards TD
2008 20 283 4
2009 15 159 0
2010 33 260 0
2011 17 144 0
I wanted to go back and look at the tape to see if what I saw in OTAs mirrored his game action, and really what I found is that he’s kind of a fascinating player. I chose the Week 16 Dallas-Philly matchup, since he was targeted 6 times in that game. There was one stretch in the 2nd quarter (three consecutive plays) where you can really see the good and bad of Martellus Bennett (You may need to use the full screen function):