Recruiting Champs Well Represented, Not Elite
HAN VANCE on Georgia football: NFL Draft 2020 has been as expected the most-watched in NFL history. While Georgia under Kirby Smart has been twice crowned for top recruiting classes in the whole country, Kirby completes his first full cycle as a head football coach clearly looking up at LSU and Bama in-conference.
Nothing to sneeze at, Georgia still had the #4 player taken in the draft, the first offensive tackle (LT, Andrew Thomas) in a draft-year being heralded as the best ever for tackles. Two first round picks, a mammoth right tackle bookending that pick late in the 1st round.
Four UGA guys in all saw their names called in the first 111 picks. But quickly look westward across the Deep South at the two dominant teams atop the SEC West division and our whole football league. Honestly.
Bama had four players taken in the 1st round alone. And five more taken combined on Day 2, over the 3rd and 2nd, where Georgia saw stellar RBU member D’Andre Swift fall to being the second running back overall in the whole draft. Out of the top round he was projected for, in his stead, of course, a league and national champion (versatile but seriously-less gifted!) RB from LSU.
For LSU, who had an insane 10 picks heading into Day 3, it was 1st round: five players drafted. 2nd and 3rd, combined five more.
While “Big Fish” Guard Solomon Kindley completed the run on the Great Wall of Georgia, going to protect Tua for the Dolphins in Miami. The real exodus there started when Sam Pittman bolted and three talented linemen declared early (as well as the two starting offensive backs), with a 4th offensive line starter, Cade Mays, transferring to Tennessee where he is a Vol legacy. Former Ole Miss Rebels head coach Matt Luke replacing Pittman as o-line coach without too much of a palpable drop off is paramount to Georgia’s immediate success, when college football resumes. And, speaking of that.
Not practicing and having new offensive coaching leadership is a potentially very bad combination, when many of our opponents will easily return more frontline starters up front, at programs with o-line coaches and offensive coordinators entrenched and well established. Any continuity has to be of more value now, and Luke coaching in and winning the Sugar Bowl with a patchwork of the less proven guys was good.
Hooray for the success Ol’ Georgia has had in the trenches, and running the football!
Sure, Glory to Georgia, 1785.
But we were quite a bit farther from not closer to winning the SEC this past season. And, here I’m still seeing a, quantifiable, top-tier talent gap disparity between our beloved Dawgs and the top two teams in the SEC. Look at the draft numbers.
Three-year starting QB Jake Fromm (0-4 career record versus the SEC’s current big two) finally went to be a backup for the Buffalo Bills in the 5th round, a grad transfer from Wake Forest his presumed replacement, once Georgia football actually commences.
While a sixth Bulldog, legacy TE Charlie Woerner went in the 6th, with a seventh in the 7th, as standout senior LB Tae Crowder went final round, the last pick: Mr. Irrelevant.
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