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The NFL draft is as much of a numbers game as anything else, and several quarterback prospects have a number associated with them that NFL teams don’t like. A quick Google search will show you that “Stetson Bennett age” and “Hendon Hooker age” are two of the most-searched terms related to the former Georgia and Tennessee QBs. Both these players, along with former BYU QB Jaren Hall, are 25 years old, which has teams questioning whether they make sense to draft given the history of older signal-callers in the draft.

Stetson Bennett age and Hendon Hooker age are issues for some NFL teams

Stetson Bennett age, Stetson Bennett, Hendon Hooker age, Hendon Hooker, 2023 NFL Draft
(L-R) Hendon Hooker, Stetson Bennett | Donald Page/Getty Images; Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Stetson Bennett won two national championships at Georgia, and Hendon Hooker was a leading Heisman candidate before a knee injury derailed his final college season.

Both these players will likely go in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Hooker is a late first-round prospect. However, their advanced ages (in football terms) concern some NFL teams.

Only three QBs 25 or older have gone in the first five rounds of the NFL draft, per ESPN. And Brandon Weeden, Chris Weinke, and John Beck all had limited pro success (more on that below).

In addition to the history of older QBs coming into the NFL, teams have several other concerns when it comes to these types of players. One is that their careers will be shorter than younger players, even though top signal-callers are now routinely playing into their late 30s or even early 40s.

This makes the pressure to succeed right away high. Florida QB Anthony Richardson, who will likely be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft, is only 20. He could sit on an NFL bench for four seasons and still be younger than Bennett, and Hooker are now when he made his first NFL start in 2027.

Also, since Bennett and Hooker didn’t find college football success until their mid-20s, it’s fair to ask if the reason that they finally excelled is that they were fully developed men playing against 18- and 19-year-old teenagers in many situations. In the ESPN article by Adam Rittenberg, an anonymous NFL scout says, “It does scare you a little bit. Why does it take you so long to be good?”

However, with the new transfer and NIL rules, Bennett and Hooker are likely the first of a new breed of QB who will stay in school longer.

Other NFL people told Rittenberg that some teams are looking at older QB prospects as players who are more mature and have a higher football IQ, making them desirable to teams.

This makes the Stetson Bennett age and Hendon Hooker age questions much more interesting and means we could see them and Jaren Hall all come off NFL draft boards before Round 6.

The history of highly-drafted older QBs

The reason some scouts and teams have a bias against older quarterbacks in the NFL draft is that drafting one in the first five rounds has never worked out.

After several years in pro baseball before his Heisman-winning career at Florida State, Chris Weinke was the oldest QB ever drafted when the Carolina Panthers took him in Round 4 of the 2001 NFL Draft.

Oklahoma State signal-caller Brandon Weeden also played pro baseball before the Dallas Cowboys took him No. 22 overall in 2012. BYU’s John Beck (just like 2023 prospect Jaren Hall) served a religious mission before playing college football. The Miami Dolphins took him in Round 2 of the 2007 draft.

Here is how these three fared in the NFL:

PlayersSeasonsStartsRecordYardsTDsINTs
Chris Weinke5202-183,9041526
Brandon Weeden5256-196,4263130
John Beck270-71,41737

These numbers are bad. There’s no denying that. However, with recent rule changes that have allowed quarterbacks to play longer and the changing landscape of college football, it seems as though teams are now more willing to give older QBs another shot.

That is why the Stetson Bennett age and Hendon Hooker age factors may not be as big an issue in the 2023 NFL Draft as they have been in the past.

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