Who Earl Bennett reminds me of as a player.
You always read where scouts say they need to envision a college player as comparable to somebody similar in the NFL. I finally figured out who Earl Bennett reminds me of. You know his profile: slightly below average height, stocky/muscular, more quick than fast, B+ hands, very productive in the SEC. He reminds me almost exactly of Darrell Jackson, who had about the same grade coming out of Florida.
So, even though it looks unlikely that Bennett would be a Broncos draft target at this point, we can be happy about getting a much more seasoned version of the same player at the tail end of his prime (age 29.) I'm sure some will see this as blasphemy, but to me, it may be a demonstration of a strong grasp of football economics. It frankly reminds me of a move the Patriots would make, signing a cheap veteran role player instead of drafting one.
A second round pick carries a lot more opportunity cost than a 1 year, $1.5M contract, with an additional $500K of incentives. You look at is as a one year investment horizon, and Jackson is almost certain to outproduce Bennett in 2008. Remember how few receivers play well as rookies. It's second only to QB in terms of difficulty to acclimate to the NFL level. Even if Bennett becomes a solid #2 receiver going forward, you can find those anytime. He's far from a once-in-a-lifetime player. He's more of a 4-or-5-times-in-a-draft player.
By the way, D-Jack, as he likes to be called, is extremely money-motivated. His ticket out of Seattle came because he griped constantly that Deion Branch got more money than him. He signed a cheap 1 year contract with the Broncos, so expect him to produce to the best of his ability in trying to cash in for one last good contract. Even if he doesn't stand to get that deal in Denver, expect strong production from him this season. Just my thoughts, as usual.