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What the 2022 NFL Draft tells us about next season’s Georgia football team

SystemSystem Posts: 10,648 admin
edited May 2022 in Article commenting
imageWhat the 2022 NFL Draft tells us about next season’s Georgia football team

Georgia football had 15 players taken in the 2022 NFL Draft, which will have some impact on next season's team.

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    BubbaBillBubbaBill Posts: 1,192 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Looks like a healthy Tykee Smith could be crucial next season for our inexperienced secondary. Go Dawgs!!!

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    JimWallaceJimWallace Posts: 5,765 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    A year ago what was the talk like about Georgia's defense? As I recall there were a lot of worries due to the players we'd lost.

    Go, Dawgs!

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    kylnmeg10kylnmeg10 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Proofread proofread proofread. *Las Vegas Raiders, no longer in Oakland. Thomas, Wilson, and Wynn = 1st rounders not 3rd.

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    reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,647 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    That Washington one on the list of most players selected is a surprise. AHead of Auburn?

    I don't buy into the WR position being a problem. True we lost Pickens but he really didn't contribute last season til the very end. A healthier Rosemary , Smith , Blaylock and JAckson, and the new WR is a burner, coupled with more experienced Mitchell and McKonkey, and then the TE's Bowers, a healthier Washington and then throw in the new studs at TE and the problem may very well be our strength.

    I will go on record right now and say we set some records for passing this season.

    As far as the RB psotion goes, injuries are usally alwasy a factor, but if healthy, we have very good backs, really pleased with how the kid from Moultire ran in the Spring game, and can't wait to see the FR get here, the kid who looks like a professional body builder. Looks like another Chubb.

    THe inexperience on defense is our main concern, certainly not the talent. Still we should fly through the East.

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    reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,647 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I was a little suprised when I looked up which NFL teams sent the most players to the Pro-bowl in the past 10 years. GUess who wasn't near the top? NEw England! BUt they had 2 constants over those years. Bellicheck and BRady.

    WE have Kirby and Stetson Bennet. New England had their system. WE have ours. Rotate(reload) the players and go win. Just do your job!

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,770 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2022

    This draft had no RB selected in the 1st rd. If "having an overwhelming amount of production" is a function of being a heavily used, high mileage college RB there may be an advantage to younger players sharing the workload until they mature physically. Going into the NFL will lower mileage seems to be a big plus for any RB under draft consideration. Maybe the biggest plus.

    The NFL is a passing league that discounts the RB position. The average RB career in the NFL is the shortest career (2.57 yrs avg) of all positions. As a result, drafting RB's typically falls to the 2nd rd or later. Their were 2 RB's selected before Cook. The way that UGA is recruiting and handling their RB's may be the best way to utilize RB's at the college level. Not just the best way for UGA but the best way to handle a young player and help them have long term success. UGA may be the most "players first" program in the country.

    The UGA RB room is in good shape this season with #6 and #2. Odds are that these guys will be very productive. Odds are they will not be as productive as #4 and #3 for 2 reasons. 1) availability under heavier load has not been proven and 2) anticipated increase in passing attempts this season to deeper WR and TE groups.

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    reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,647 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Your really have to be elite as a RB to go in the first round for sure. Have to have the ability to hit the HR at any moment. Not a lot of backs like that, and if you can catch it out of the backfield all the better. Plus they are subject to injury.

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 690 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate


    Interesting post, @UGADad20. I wonder if and when the pendulum will swing back toward RBs being higher picks.

    For now, at least, the risk-return ratio of a using a high draft pick on a running back does seem high. For every first-round RB who avoids serious injury for at least five or six years (e.g. Ezekiel Elliott), there are at least three guys like Saquon Barkley or Trent Richardson, who are stopped by injuries before they really get going. Even Sony Michel and Todd Gurley -- who were highly productive early on -- have seen their prospects for longer careers slide with injuries. These guys are truly warriors. (The irony is that Nick Chubb, who fell to the second round because he was supposed to be injury prone, has so far avoided injury and continues to thrive -- knock on wood!)

    KM & KM actually have both suffered injuries already (especially Milton) -- although not of the devasting variety. Let's hope the platooning approach keeps them healthy.

    While I agree with you that this year's passing game may reduce the number of rushes, less depth in the RB position may cause KM & KM to get a larger percentage of thee carries than Zeus and Cook got last year.

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    BigDawg61BigDawg61 Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Food for thought....

    McIntosh had more yds/carry than White (5.7) and more yds/catch than Cook (11). White had 160 carries to McIntosh's 58 and Cook had 27 catches to McIntosh's 22. Cook and White accounted for 22 TDs to McIntosh's 5 with 174 more carries/completions. McIntosh had 80 carries/completions to Cook and White's 254 total touches.

    Milton (56), Bennett (56) and Edwards (49) all had relatively the same number of carries as McIntosh. Each had about 1 yd/carry less than McIntosh.

    UGA didn't throw much to Milton (2), Edwards (2) or White (9) out of the backfield last year, but, after watching the Spring game, that may change this year. Milton and McIntosh appear to be targets going forward.

    As far as WRs and TEs...forget about it! UGAs loaded on offense with a QB that is clearly improved, accurate and confident. The defense will get there...they have the best defensive coaches in the Nation and talent coming out of their ears.

    I remember when UGA was trying to hire Smart (UA) or Muschamp (UT) to be the DC under Mark Richt. Can you imagine if that had happened instead of Grantham? LOL

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,770 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2022

    Doubtful the pendulum swings back to running at the NFL level. The rules favor passing. The objective is more explosive plays. Most NFL teams carry 3 RB;s and a FB. But carry 7 wr's. RB's are used up faster and are more readily replaceable. You can get a decent RB in almost any round.

    Even CKS talks of increasing explosive plays. In modern CFB, UGA seems more exception than rule offensively. A real "throwback" compared to the prevailing offensive systems and concepts of the top tier teams. Remember Paul Johnson? I didn't think so. Even RBU is expected to increase the passing % under Monken. Real significant change for UGA will depend on recruiting higher rated WR's and developing the 4*/5 * QB's. (which is the goal) In the history of the UGA program, UGA has only signed 3 5* WR's.

    As for this season's RB's, I don't expect less depth than last year. Plus neither KM or KM has proven to be more durable than ZW (didn't miss a game in 2 yrs?) or JC. Then add in the carries expected from DEdwards and Robinson. Edwards did not stick around for 3 years for garbage time carries again this season. And Robinson was a borderline 5* recruit and the heir apparent starter next season. He needs to be fed the rock and kept happy. Robinson has been compared to NChubb. I believe he will thrive behind this OL with his (and the UGA) down hill running style. Don't forget KM and KM came in after the 1st team had beaten down the opposing team or against 2nd teamers. They will be going against fresher 1st teamers this year. Isn't everyone (exc Vandy) in the SECE expected to be better this season? Closer games = less time running out the clock. More scoring against the UGA D means less time for the O on the field. I still think the biggest reason is that UGA has to pass more this season to get the recruits it wants to get. 5* Luther Burden? Lost. "UGA doesn't pass enough". Last year's O will not land Arch. CKS has to come along to get his share of elite offensive recruits.

    Another factor may be taking some short receptions from the RB's to better utilize the multiple TE sets. There is really no way Bowers can repeat the stat line he had last season. Not unless there are multiple injured WR's and no AGilbert (like last year). But having the 3/4 TE's and healthy WR's has to translate into spreading the ball around more.

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    BigDawg61BigDawg61 Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Running Backs are employed different than they once were. The most successful RBs are receivers out of the Backfield. Swing passes, wheel routes, etc., teams are looking to create one-on-one mismatches between speedy RBs, like Cook or McIntosh, and slower, smaller DBs on the outside. Or dump it to a power running RB, like White or Milton, over the middle, to gain an advantage against second level personnel (LBs/DBs). You don't see many guys like Barry Sanders, Walter Peyton or Tony Dorsett anymore. Those guys are making more money playing in the defensive backfield or WR.

    I wouldn't get wrapped around the axle on the STAR Rating system. It didn't begin until the year 2000 or later. In 2018, there were more unrated players (13) playing in the Pro Bowl than players that had a 5 Star Rating (11) entering College, according to an article in The Houston Chronicle.

    UGA had a lot of receivers over the years, that would have rated 5 stars, if such a Rating system existed at the time. Off the top of my head, there was Lindsey Scott, Andre Hastings, Hines Ward, Gene Washington, Terrence Edwards, Fred Gibson, just to name a few that came before the "Star Rating System".

    To get a Star Rating, a recruit has to participate in Camps, 7-on-7's, tournaments, etc.. That gets em noticed. Not every "5-star potential" goes that route or they didn't start playing in HS till their Jr/Sr year. Then comes film grades and composites.

    Star Ratings are about perception, not reality. A guy rated as 5-star will only see that potential through hard work in honing their craft. Not every player with a 5-star Rating has the intangible qualities to realize their full potential...which is what the Rating system projects. "Unrated kids" to "4-star kids" with the intangible qualities to excel, can see more growth in College and surpass an unmotivated 5--star (i.e., Stetson Bennett). Which happens more often than you think.

    I really don't care, and I don't think Smart cares much, whether a player has 4 or 5 stars behind his name, as long as he has the intangible qualities to excel and become elite. UGA's got those guys, in spades. They have 2 track stars in the WR room. We know 1 of them, A. Smith, has what it takes to hone his skills. They have another coming in the Fall. Kearis Jackson is going to be off-the-chain this season, all because of his work-ethic...mark my words.

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 690 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate


    Great conversation, y'all. I'll believe KM-squared is as much of a force as Zeus/Cook if they're pounding out the yards and catching out of the backfield at a similar rate a few games into the season. For now, I do think we're not as deep at RB this year, and -- as UGADad points out -- KM+KM don't have a record of durability vs starting defenses. That said, Robinson is the most promising back since Chubb (or maybe Zeus before his ACLs). And KM+KM will be running behind a heckuva line.

    Last year, we lacked a lot of the 30-plus-yard runs that Chubb and Michel used to break out with regularity. I'm curious what y'all think the reason was. At first, I thought it was mainly because Zeus is pretty straight ahead and not that shifty. But Cook and McIntosh seem like just the kinds of backs that can go to off the races once they get past the line, and they didn't break a lot of long runs either. Did that have something to do with the way our offense was run (e.g. WRs not stretching the field?), or how the backs are being used, or did it more half to do with the RBs' abilities?

    Regarding NFL: Even if the pendulum doesn't swing back 15 years (to when multiple RBs were taken in the top 10), this draft still may have been a sort of low tide for RB draft picks. In the way-to-earlies, Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs are projected as 2023 first rounders. Not surprisingly, each caught more than 50 passes the previous two years, which is consistent with what both of y'all's were saying about versatility, hands and coming out of the backfield.

    Isn't there also the possibility that eventually RBs who are really good (Walter Payton-like) athletes will be highly valued again just because fewer and fewer of those guys who combine strength, speed, agility, first-step etc will opt to be running backs? In other words, the price (draft level) gets higher when the supply is low. Bijan Robinson fits that profile (although I'm not saying he's Sweetness!).

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 690 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    "True we lost Pickens but he really didn't contribute last season til the very end." But don't you think it mattered that Pickens was there when we really needed him? I don't see anyone else having the strength and body control to haul in that big 52-yard catch.

    I largely agree with your larger point about WRs, though. We've got six WRs with real talent and a fair amount of experience -- seven if you count Arik, or for that matter all the ways those Arik/Bowers/Delp may be used as WR. Stetson's gonna find plenty of go-to weapons among them.

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    BigDawg61BigDawg61 Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    "Last year, we lacked a lot of the 30-plus-yard runs that Chubb and Michel used to break out with regularity. I'm curious what y'all think the reason was."

    IMO, the running game at UGA changed for 2 reasons. If you look at the 2017 team, when UGA had Michel, Chubb and Swift, they also had Hardman, Ridley, Godwin, Wims and Weorner. The receiving corps, overall, wasn't near as explosive as the 2021 group, though they had their moments. The 2021 group, including the RBs and TEs, were explosive in YACs due to the use of the WR and OL group in downfield bocking.

    Personnel is not the reason they became less explosive in the running game. In 2017, UGA's offensive coaching staff was build to advance the running game. Jim Chaney and Sam Pittman were 2 of the best in the business at employing the running game to support the passing game.

    Todd Monkin and Matt Luke were experts in the RPO with running QB style, Pro-Style with air raid principles. This style offense requires a mobile QB, so Mike Griffith and the rest of the so-called experts should have seen the move to Bennett coming. LOL. After all, that is what Luke ran at Ole Miss and it's in Monkin's. DNA.

    Spread option doesn't own the middle of the field as in the Chaney/Pittman Pro-Style. The Monkin/Luke offensive line is bigger and not quite as athletic as the Chaney/Pittman line. They're set up to pass block, mostly, but, are athletic enough to get to the second level as the play develops. Doesn't mean they "can't" run block, but, it's not how they were recruited or trained, which leads you to believe, Smart has had this in mind for a few years.

    The idea is to get the RB the football in the 2nd level through the pass, not by opening holes at the LOS, though you can't abandon that option completely. The linemen give the QB/RB time to develop the play, then, release downfield to take out the smaller LBs and DBs..."opening a hole" off the LOS, so to speak. That style is supposed to counter the bigger more athletic defenses that have developed over the last 10 years or so.

    UGA is set up, right now, to take their offense to a whole new level in 2022. They could actually be the equivalent of the 2021 defense, in dominance. That's what I see, anyway.

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