Georgia enters week one of the season with a talented group of tight ends and receivers. The Bulldogs lost key members of both position groups to graduation. However, the tight end and wideout rooms have reloaded with some returnees and new faces to the team.
Tight Ends: Who’s There?
Tight ends seemed to be rarely used in 2017. It wasn’t because the Bulldogs didn’t have the talent there. Jeb Blazevich graduated and will try to make a career in the NFL. Replacing him is the junior tandem of former 5-star Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner. Senior Jackson Harris saw a lot of time last season once Woerner fell to injury late in the season. Georgia continues to reload at tight end with Luke Ford and John FitzPatrick, two 4-star tight ends from the 2018 recruiting class.
Tight Ends: What Should We Expect?
I think we could see these guys used a little more in 2018. Georgia has an absolutely loaded position group with a great balance of older guys and new freshmen. Nauta took some criticism over effort concerns last season. However, I expect those concerns to not even come up this season. Nauta has too much talent not to realize his own potential and coach Smart won’t allow a player of his caliber to get in his own way. The junior has the potential to be an NFL player one day and I think he could be due for a breakout season.
Charlie Woerner will have a solid season as well as he is a physical blocker and showed the ability to run good routes and catch passes last season. This group is in good hands as we begin spring practice. Jackson Harris went down with an injury during camp, so Ford and Fitzpatrick have been getting some good reps. Both freshmen could see the field this fall and could make an explosion like Nauta did when he was a freshman. With this much talent, co-offensive coordinators, Jim Chaney and James Coley have a lot of options to use.
Wide Receivers: Who’s There?
The graduation of Javon Wims hurt. Wims broke out in 2017 and emerged as the go-to number one receiver. His ability to go up and get the 50/50 balls is something that will be dearly missed. However, the Bulldogs have a lot of talent to replace Wims’s production.
Georgia returned veteran receiver Terry Godwin who will likely lead the team in receiving this year. The Bulldogs have a lot of talent, and added another weapon this offseason. After the stellar recruiting class, a late addition joined the team this summer. Former Georgia prospect, Demetris Robertson decided to transfer to Georgia after initially choosing Cal. He adds yet another offensive weapon to the group. However, he must earn his spot on the bus. Robertson is one of the best wideouts in the country, but it’s all about the competition, and who can be the most versatile on offense and likely special teams. I expect him to be a contender once he learns the playbook and has time to condition.
Other Bulldogs that look to make some more noise this year are Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley. These two will likely step into those WR2 and WR3 spots. The depth behind them will be in the form of Ahkil Crumpton, Jayson Stanley, Tyler Simmons, J.J Holloman, Matt Landers, and others. Not to mention, Georgia nabbed two more wideouts in the 2018 class with the addition of Kearis Jackson and Tommy Bush.
Wide Receivers: What Should We Expect?
Fans should expect the same consistent play out of senior Terry Godwin. He has been here before and knows what it takes to get through a full season and compete for championships. That’s one of the good things about this team. The top four guys have a lot of experience and in high-pressure situations. Hardman should continue to be a productive and explosive playmaker. The junior had a huge game during the national championship, and that should be a launching pad going into 2018.
These four guys should step up and be the leaders of this group. Even though the above four guys seem to have their positions locked down, the competition behind them is fierce. Jackson came in the spring and made some noise early in spring ball. Bush got here this summer and could see the field, as he matches what Wims brought to the table. This group has a lot to work with, and Georgia could look for them some more this fall.