School: Ohio State | Position: DT | Height: 6022 | Weight: 295 | Forty: 4.98 | Class: 2015

Hometown: Centerville, OH | Year: Senior | Projection: 2nd Round | Pro Comparison: Jurrell Casey / Mike Daniels

PROS

  • Quick burst out of his stance enables him to win the leverage battle at the line of scrimmage.
  • Shows good awareness and is quick to react to the ball. Flashes excellent lateral movement.
  • Plays physical; has displayed the ability to be an effective player against double-team coverage.
  • Hybrid player. Can play multiple positions. Primarily plays nose guard in 3-4/4-3 alignments but has also lined up at defensive end. Best suited as three-technique in 4-3 or defensive end in 3-4.
  • Student-athlete; named OSU Scholar-Athlete. Has been commended for his off the field leadership role, as well as on the field.

CONS

  • Relies heavily upon his strength when rushing the quarterback (Bull-rush is go-to move). Doesn't possess much speed-rush moves.
  • Would like to see better reaction to the ball against the run. Tends to lunge at runners instead of trying to reach point of attack and make a solid wrap up tackle.
  • Needs to continue physical development to help improve leverage off the snap of the ball. Can get swallowed up against double teams.
  • Was non-existent and a liability during his first two seasons in Columbus, according to head coach Urban Meyer. He struggled with nagging injuries.

MEDICAL

  • Missed first four games of 2012 season with a groin injury. Banged up during 2013 but played through injuries.

NOTES

  • The son of parents who each graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

QUOTES

“Michael Bennett, his legend continues. A no-name guy that we were kind of disappointed in (last year) has become a good leader. He has become a vocal leader, but his leadership all summer in training camp was by his actions, his work ethic, 4 to 6 seconds of effort (on every play). So he has exceeded my expectations.”  --OSU Head Coach Urban Meyer

“He’s a great leader. I think our players respect him as a leader. He’s played a lot of football … When he opens his mouth, guys are listening to him right now. That’s the kind of leadership you want. So I’ve been very impressed with Mike, his leadership skills on the field and off the field." --OSU Defensive Coordinator Larry Johnson

“He plays hard, good pad level, pushes on the run very, very well, and has gap control. He seems very sound in his technique. And then he’s an athlete playing that defensive tackle spot, and you don’t always see that type athlete at that spot.” -- Wisconsin Head Coach Gary Anderson

LINKS