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  1. #1
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    Fantasy: Reaction – Martellus Bennett signs with the Giants

    March 14th, 2012 | Author: Mike Clay

    The Ironman will block him no more.

    After spending the first four seasons of his career stuck in Dallas behind all-pro tight end Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett has found himself a starting job. On Wednesday afternoon, Bennett signed a 1 year, $2.5 million contract with the New York Giants.

    Bennett hasn’t quite lived up to the hype after being drafted in the second round back in 2008, but – as mentioned – he has yet to see a real opportunity as a full-time player. His maturity has been called into question on several occasions, but consider that he did skip his Senior season, entering the league at just 21 years old. Today, we consider him a league veteran, but he’s still only 25 years old after celebrating a birthday on March 10.

    Despite racking up only 88 receptions over the last four seasons, Bennett has quietly played 367+ snaps each of the four seasons, including 406 in in 2011. That works out to roughly 44% of the Cowboy’s offensive snaps since 2008. Dallas went with 2+ TE formations 49% of the time in 2011, which was fifth highest in the league. It’s clear they wanted to keep him on the field.

    Bennett was arguably the most physically gifted tight end on the market and is certainly one of the best run-blocking tight ends in football. According to our game analysts, he’s graded out as a Top 5 run-blocking tight end each of the last three seasons. He finished as the 10th best overall tight end in 2011, putting up an 8.8 grade, and ranked fourth overall in 2010 (13.0).

    Blocking hasn’t been an issue, but Bennett hasn’t lived up to expectations as a pass catcher. Opportunities have certainly been at a premium, however, with the 44 targets he saw in 2010 standing as a career-high. Overall, he’s seen 127 targets, hauling in 88 for 873 yards and four touchdowns (all four of which came in 2008).

    Bennett is viewed as a player who has drop issues, but that’s a bit misleading. He’s dropped 13 balls in his short career, but seven (21% of his 33 targets) came during a rough 2009 campaign. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, he dropped a total of five on 68 targets (7%), which is right at league average for an in-line tight end.

    Speaking of his positioning on the field, Bennett worked 338 (83%) of his 406 snaps in 2011 as an in-line tight end. He saw a target on just 6% of his snaps, but that number jumped to 15% when he ran one of his 155 pass routes. Bennett was targeted at a much higher rate in 2009, but still was on the line right around 80% of the time.

    Read more.... http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog...th-the-giants/

  2. #2
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    Re: Fantasy: Reaction – Martellus Bennett signs with the Giants

    The site (profootballfocus.com) has had a lot of positive things to say about Bennett. He came in second in their 2012 FA TE list:

    "2) Martellus Bennett, Dallas Cowboys

    Age as of September 1st, 2012: 25

    2011 Grade: +7.8 (+8.2 as a run blocker)

    Key Stat: An athletic specimen, Bennett had just 144 receiving yards last season.

    Behind the Numbers: Martellus Bennett is a strange player, having become in the NFL almost a polar opposite of his pre-draft billing. A former Texas A&M basketball star, Bennett was seen as another in this new breed of athlete tight ends who could be a weapon in the pass game, but who would likely struggle as a blocker. For the Cowboys, operating behind Jason Witten, he has been a stud as a blocking tight end in their two-TE sets, but has struggled to make an impact as a receiver. In his four seasons in the league, he has just 85 career catches (Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham topped that this season alone, and Brandon Pettigrew came close with 83 catches in 2011). The athleticism is still there, and it is possible that stepping out from the shadow of one of the league’s best will allow him to grow in that regard going forward. The interesting thing about Bennett is that he blocks extremely well, which a rare commodity even for the top tight ends. He may be more attractive to teams that still like to establish the run game before they take to the air."

    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog...ts-tight-ends/

  3. #3

    Re: Fantasy: Reaction – Martellus Bennett signs with the Giants

    I think it's a good move and it works well for both sides. 1 year deal give him a chance to show everyone what he really has as a featured TE and it gives the Giants and opt out if he isn't as advertised. The only downside I could see is if he really tears it up, it's going to cost the Giants to keep him although having Ballard is a very nice back up plan. 2 TE sets with these guys would be insane.

  4. #4
    All-Pro gmen0820's Avatar
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    Re: Fantasy: Reaction – Martellus Bennett signs with the Giants

    I'd take him for depth, but I'm gonna go with Finley a little later in the draft. He has kind of become forgotten with all the other elite TEs in the league (Gronk, Graham, Davis, Hernandez, Witten, Gates etc. etc.). I can see Finley, who didn't necessarily get paid a lot and for long, still try to come out and play hard for a better 3rd contract in two years.

  5. #5
    All-Pro Captain Chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Fantasy: Reaction – Martellus Bennett signs with the Giants

    You know we have one of the best TE coaches in the league, Pope. I think this guy will blossom just like all of the other TE's that Pope has coached.

  6. #6

    Re: Fantasy: Reaction – Martellus Bennett signs with the Giants

    He is the perfect compliment to Ballard. Finally we can see true 2 TE sets.

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