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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Martellus Bennett, TE

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 259 | College: Texas A&M
 
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Overview

Regarded as the "most complete" prospect at his respective position in the 2008 NFL Draft, Bennett combines excellent size, strength and quickness to excel not only as a clutch mid-range receiver, but also as a devastating blocker. A testament to his athletic skills was the fact that he became the first Aggie since Billy Bob Barnett in 1969 to letter in basketball and football during the same season.

After two seasons with the hoops team at A&M, Bennett gave up basketball to concentrate on football. In addition to his duties on offense, he also appeared on the defensive line for several snaps during his senior year. He was joined on that unit by his older brother, Michael Bennett, Jr., a reserve defensive lineman for the Aggies.

At Taylor High School, Bennett was a consensus prep All-American selection. The three-year starter and a two-time All-District and All-Greater Houston choice at tight end was a member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Super Team. He was a finalist for the Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year and earned first-team Class 5A All-State honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association after hauling in a team-high 42 catches for 487 yards and six touchdowns as a senior in 2004. He also grabbed four two-point conversion receptions that year.

As a junior, Bennett had 13 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 12.4 yards per catch during his sophomore campaign. He also lettered in basketball, picking up All-Greater Houston accolades in 2004-05. As a senior, he averaged 23 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Bennett enrolled at Texas A&M in 2005, turning down scholarship offers from Duke, Kansas, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Texas and Southern California. He was a Freshman All-American selection by The Sporting News, as he started five of eleven games. He tallied eighteen receptions for 162 yards (9.0 avg) and three touchdowns while also recording one solo tackle.

After his freshman campaign on the gridiron, he joined the Aggies' basketball team, seeing action in 26 games as a reserve forward. He averaged 1.9 points, shooting 12-of-46 from the field and 25-of-41 from the free throw line. He dished out twelve assists, turned the ball over seventeen times and had 40 rebounds, including eighteen off the offensive glass.

Bennett earned All-Big Twelve Conference first-team honors from the Dallas Morning News and was a semi-finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end in 2006. He ranked second on the team with 38 receptions for 497 yards (13.1 avg) and scored three times. He also appeared in four games with the basketball team after the football season, averaging 0.5 points per game in thirteen minutes of action.

The junior tight end was having a banner 2007 season before suffering high ankle sprains (both legs) vs. Texas Tech that would sideline him for the Nebraska clash. He was named All-Big Twelve Conference second-team, as he led the team with 49 catches for 587 yards (12.0 avg) and four touchdowns. He also recovered a fumble and posted four tackles (2 solos) while pacing the Aggies with 67 knockdown blocks.

With the 2007 coaching staff having been dismissed, Bennett decided it was time to leave school and applied for the 2008 NFL Draft. "I'm a complete player, I do it all," Bennett stated. "I'm a playmaker and I always get the ball at the highest point. I'm also a great blocker. My only weakness is route running."

"Everything we received from the NFL as far as projections were what we wanted to hear," Bennett said. "With the coaching situation it would be hard to come back for my senior season and get into a groove learning a new system."

Bennett started 23 of 36 games he appeared in at Texas A&M. He tied the school career-record for tight ends with 105 receptions (ranks tied for fifth overall), good for 1,246 yards (11.9-yard average), as his 10 touchdown grabs rank tied for eighth on the school's all-time record chart). He also recorded five tackles (3 solos) and recovered one fumble.

Analysis

Positives: Has a tall, thick frame with a V-shaped torso, long limbs, large hands, big bubble, wide hips, thick thighs and calves and room to carry more bulk without impacting his overall quickness … Uses his hands with force to escape press coverage and shows excellent boundary awareness … Has adequate speed, but runs with a normal stride (needs to stay in his patterns tighter) and is best when used on the move, whether coming off the line or working in the slot … Not a sudden mover, but has adequate change-of-direction agility for his position … Likes to block and plays with good aggression … Will not hesitate to go vertical and compete for the off-target throws … Works hard to sustain his blocks and plays with consistent effort … Does well in school and has no problem taking plays from the chalkboard to the playing field … Does not show suddenness getting into his routes, but moves his feet to sustain and gains advantage to hook a "nine" technique … Has the strength to power through the hold up and avoids under-coverage on the route stem … Can swim over or fight through the jam with force … Raw pattern runner who needs more reps, but has good awareness to zone coverage … Finds his marks and gets his head turned around in time to look the ball in, but will round and gather his cuts … Has the hand strength and physical nature to get off the press and settle underneath on short routes, knowing that he presents the quarterback with a big target on the move … Makes proper body adjustments extending his arms to haul in the high pass … Shows intent as a blocker and has the base to effectively hold his ground at the point of attack (will get walked back when he gets too upright in his stance, though) … Will get into trouble when he body catches, but he has the reach and extension to get to the ball with hands properly extended … While he lacks suddenness, he shows good body lean and weight transfer that allows him to snap off his breaks and separate … Physical receiver with the raw power to fight the defender for the ball (will sometimes lose concentration, as he can be distracted by the sounds of a defender's feet) … Runs over the middle with authority and shows the flexibility in his hands and arms extending to catch outside of the framework … Lacks a burst heading upfield, but has the strength to power through tackles (runs hard, but is not a burner) … Shows good positioning blocking on the edge, as he is adept in sliding his feet back and moving laterally to pick up the blitz … .When he keeps his pad level down, he is much more efficient generating a strong hand punch, but must remain patient, as he tends to overextend on reach blocks … Good stalker for cut blocks at the second level, showing intent to punish the linebackers … Active with his feet in attempts to leverage when blocking on the move.

Negatives: Needs route refinement, as he takes soft-angle cuts too often and will drift quite a bit when having to go long distances … Needs to show more explosion coming out of his stance and accelerate quicker in the open field, as he does not always live up to his timed speed … Showed improvement extending for the ball outside his frame as a senior, but he will revert to body catching and drops too many … Must be more alert to second-level defenders as he is prone to running into spots rather than trying to find the soft areas to settle under … Much more effective on hooks and curls, as he does not show the suddenness or hip wiggle to elude after the catch … Because of his size, he tends to get a little upright in his stance, which allows defenders to get their hands into his chest … Needs to stand more flat-footed coming off the snap to maintain balance and leg drive when pulling … .While he shows good intent as a blocker, he needs to show better angle awareness, as he will fall off blocks and overextends … Looks mechanical in his routes, lacking fluid moves … Needs to concentrate every snap and had multiple false-start penalties.

Compares To: KEVIN BOSS-New York Giants … Like Boss, Bennett is a rare-sized tight end whose basketball experience allows him to get to passes most shorter tight ends cannot. He is a more consistent blocker than Boss, but will lose balance and overextend when he can't sink his pads to anchor. He has the long reach to haul in the pass at its high point, but despite good timed speed, he is a marginal route runner who will take unneeded steps in his route progression. Still, based on the talent here, he is the most "complete" tight end in the 2008 draft class.

Career Notes

Holds the school record with at least one reception in 29 consecutive games, topping the previous mark of 26 straight games by Terrence Murphy (2001-04) … His 105 receptions tied the career record for Texas A&M tight ends, matching a figure first set by Rod Bernstine (1983-86) … His 105 grabs rank fifth overall in A&M annals … His 1,246 yards receiving rank 15th overall and set the school career record, surpassing the old mark of 1,181 yards by Richard Osborne (1972-75) … His 10 touchdown catches tied Terrence Murphy (2001-04) and Jamaar Taylor (2001-03) for eighth on the Aggies' career chart and are the most ever by an A&M tight end … Bennett's 49 receptions in 2007 tied Barney Harris (1968) for ninth on the school's overall season-record list and placed second among A&M tight ends, behind Rod Bernstine's 65 catches in 1986.

2007 Season

All-American Dream Team choice by The NFL Draft Report, becoming the first Aggie to earn national honors since Jason Webster in 1999 … Second-team All-Big Twelve Conference choice by the San Antonio Express-News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram, earning honorable mention from the league's coaches and Associated Press … Played in 12 games, starting vs. Montana State, Louisiana-Monroe, Miami, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech … Suffered high ankle sprains (both ankles) vs. Texas Tech that forced him to sit out the Nebraska clash and when he returned to action, he performed in a reserve role … Still managed to lead the team with a career-high 49 receptions for 587 yards (12.0-yard average) and four touchdowns, his 49 grabs rank second to Rod Bernstine (65 in 1986) on the school season list for tight ends … Recovered his own fumble and posted four tackles (two solo) … Fumbled once and was penalized four times (three false starts on offense, one defensive offside) … In addition to playing tight end, Bennett also saw action on the defensive line … Had 75 passes targeted to him, as six of those tosses were deflected by the opposition … 30 of his 49 receptions were good for first downs, as he helped convert 13-of-29 third-down throws and all three that came to him on fourth-down activity … Had 23 catches for gains of at least 10 yards, including seven for more than 20 yards … Caught five of his tosses inside the red zone and had key catches that set up 13 touchdown drives and six others that ended with field goals … Also displayed excellent blocking skills, as he registered 67 knockdown blocks during the regular season.

2007 Game Analysis

Montana State … Bennett opened the season with 33 yards on three catches, adding nine knockdown blocks … He took down defensive end Dane Fletcher to spring QB Stephen McGee for a 65-yard touchdown jaunt in the first quarter … His 9, 9 & 15-yard catches west up an 18-yard scoring scamper by Mike Goodson to end a 57-yard, 5-play series that gave A&M a 24-7 lead by halftime.

Fresno State … The tight end grabbed five of eight passes thrown to him, converting two third-down grabs, as he totaled 35 yards … His third-&-10 13-yarder was followed by Bennett's crunching block on linebacker Marcus Riley that led to an 18-yard touchdown run by fullback Jorvorskie Lane at the start of the game … Added a 12-yarder on third-&-4 at the start of the second frame to set up a 43-yard A&M field goal … Finished the day with a career-high seventeen knockdowns … "My knuckles are dirty. If you want to be called a tight end, show me some dirty hands," said Bennett, who has always impressed with his blocking skills, both at the point of attack and down the field.

Louisiana-Monroe … Bennett amassed a season-high 98 yards on six receptions, as four of his grabs were for 10 yards or longer and all six catches produced first downs … Caught a third-&-6 pass for 12 yards and then took down defensive end Alaric Coleman to spring tailback Mike Goodson for a 7-yard touchdown with 4:26 left in the first half … Added 5 & 33-yarders to set up an A&M 19-yard field goal and had 27 & 17-yard catches to set up Stephen McGee's 20-yard scoring toss to Kerry Franks in the third quarter … Also tackled Josh Thompson at the ULM 29 for a 1-yard loss after the defender picked off a McGee pass later in the third frame … His fourth-&-3 catch for 4 yards set up Jerrod Johnson's 7-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Miami … Bennett caught three passes for 49 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown with 0:05 left in the game … Added two solo tackles, taking down Javarris James on a 5-yard run to start the game … Upended defensive end Calais Campbell on a third-&-goal 1-yard scoring burst by QB Stephen McGee in the fourth stanza.

Baylor … Bennett had a quiet day with a three-yard catch, but failed to get to three other third-down throws … Opened a rush lane used by Jorvorskie Lane for a third quarter 1-yard touchdown run that ended a 9-play, 85-yard drive … Was twice called for penalties (one false start, one offside).

Oklahoma State … The Aggies tight end made two catches for 23 yards, with his 19-yarder followed by a third-&-goal 4-yard gain that set up an A&M third quarter 22-yard field goal.

Texas Tech … Grabbed four passes for 35 yards, but suffered high ankle sprains on both legs.

Nebraska … Did not play (ankles).

Kansas … Returned in a reserve role, catching a career-high eight passes, including three third-down conversions, good for 91 yards … With 3:57 left in the game, Bennett snared a third-&-15 pass for 12 yards and then converted Stephen McGee's fourth-&-3 throw into a 35-yard gain, followed by a 6-yard grab to set up McGee's 32-yard touchdown pass to Roger Holland that capped an 80-yard, 6-play series … Was charged with a pair of false start penalties in the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma … Bennett added 63 yards , as all four of his receptions were good for first downs, converting two third-down grabs … At the start of the fourth quarter, he snared a third-&-9 throw from Stephen McGee for a 23-yard touchdown … He added a 16-yarder on third-&-13, followed by a jarring block on linebacker Curtis Lofton that paved the way for Chris Alexander's 1-yard scoring burst that ended that 12-play, 70-yard series with 0:43 left in the game.

Missouri … Bennett collected four passes for 63 yards and a pair of touchdowns, scoring on a second quarter third-&-goal 6-yard toss from Stephen McGee and on a third-&-5 42-yard screen pass in the fourth quarter … Also tackled Jeremy Maclin on a 10-yard catch at the Tigers 45 while playing defense during the closing minutes of the game.

Texas … The tight end came up with 48 yards on five receptions, but also fumbled once, as he caught a 2-yard screen pass, had the ball knocked out of his hands by UT's Brian Orakpo, but quickly recovered the pigskin at the A&M 26 early in the second quarter … Had a 19-yard catch, followed by a chop block on defensive tackle Frank Okam on T.J. Sanders' fourth-&-3 run for a 5-yard score on a fake field goal with 2:55 left in the first half.

Penn State (Alamo Bowl) … Bennett closed out his career with 46 yards on four receptions, as three of those grabs produced first downs … Had a 24-yard reception and then took down linebacker Sean Lee on a 1-yard scoring run by tailback Mike Goodson late in the first quarter … Helped set up an A&M 38-yard field goal with a 2-yard gain on a fourth-&-1 toss early in the third quarter.

2006 Season

Semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end … Earned first-team All-Big Twelve Conference honors from the Dallas Morning News, adding second-team accolades from the Houston Chronicle, Associated Press, San Antonio Express-News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Austin American-Statesman and the league's coaches … Named Mackey Award Tight End of the Week vs. Baylor … Started all 13 games, ranking second on the team with 38 receptions for 497 yards (13.1-yard average) and three touchdowns.

2006 Game Analysis

Opened the season with three receptions for 43 yards vs. The Citadel … Had five grabs for 54 yards vs. Louisiana-Lafayette and gained 67 yards on six catches in the Kansas game … Snared two passes for 50 yards, including a 10-yard score vs. Kansas State … Made five catches for a career-high 133 yards, scoring on a three-yard first quarter grab that ended a nine-play, 56-yard series. Also turned a short catch into a 75-yard touchdown in the second quarter … Snared six passes for 67 yards vs. Nebraska and had a six-yard reception vs. California in the Holiday Bowl.

2005 Season

Earned Freshman All-American honors from The Sporting News and was an All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention by the league's coaches … Played in 11 games as a true freshman, starting vs. Colorado, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Iowa State … Came up with 18 catches for 162 yards (9.0 avg) and three touchdowns … Also recorded one solo tackle.

2005 Game Analysis

His first career reception was good for 22 yards vs. Southern Methodist … Grabbed four passes for 39 yards in his first career start, vs. Colorado … Had three receptions for 34 yards and his first career touchdown, snaring a 14-yard Stephen McGee pass to end an eight-play, 51-yard drive in the fourth quarter vs. Oklahoma State … Added a 1-yard scoring grab vs. Texas Tech and made three catches for 31 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown late in the first quarter vs. Oklahoma.

Injury Report

Missed close to two quarters of action vs. Texas Tech (10/13) and sat out the following week vs. Nebraska (10/20) with high ankle sprains (both legs).

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.77 in the 40-yard dash … 320-pound bench press … 515-pound squat … 39-inch vertical jump … 33 3/8-inch arm length … 9 1/2-inch hands.

Basketball

Lettered twice for the Texas A&M basketball team, appearing in 26 games as a reserve forward during the 2005-06 season … Averaged 1.9 points, shooting 12-of-46 from the field and 25-of-41 from the free-throw line … Dished out 12 assists, turned the ball over 17 times and had 40 rebounds, including 18 off the offensive glass … Played in four games during the 2006-07 season, leaving the team in January … Logged 13 minutes of action, scoring four points with two rebounds.

High School

Attended Alief (Tex.) Taylor High School, playing football for head coach Tom Gerber … Consensus prep All-American selection … Three-year starter and a two-time All-District and All-Greater Houston choice at tight end … Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Super Team … Finalist for the Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year and earned first-team Class 5A All-State honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association after hauling in a team-high 42 catches for 487 yards and six touchdowns as a senior in 2004 … Also grabbed four two-point conversion receptions that year … As a junior, Bennett had 13 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 12.4 yards per catch during his sophomore campaign … Also lettered in basketball, picking up All-Greater Houston accolades in 2004-05 … As a senior, he averaged 23 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Personal

Communications major … Older brother, Michael Jr., was a teammate and defensive line-man at Taylor High School and Texas A&M (2005-07) … Son of Pennie and Michael Bennett, Sr … Born Martellus Demond Bennett on 3/10/87 in Houston, Texas … Resides in Alief, Texas.

 
 

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