When talking about most valuable players I do not really think about who is the best player but instead which player can least be replaced by his team. For UGA this fall there is little doubt in my mind that Aaron Murray is that guy so I am not going to discuss the top spot. Who would be the next guy in line? There are several players that would have to be in the discussion. Jenkins at nose tackle, Charles at TE, King at WR, Crowell at TB, Jones at LB and Boykin as a CB/KR are the top names that come to mind to me.
I will start by eliminating a few of these choices. At one point it would have been an easy choice that Jenkins was that guy but with the spring that Geathers had I think we would be light years ahead of where we were last year if Geathers were to have to be the starter at the nose. Crowell while he might turn out to be the key to the team is still playing a position where a combination of King and Malcome could be more than serviceable. The loss of Boykin could be offset by keeping Sanders Commings at CB instead of his possible slide to safety combined with all of the incoming freshman talent. Even as good as he is at returning kicks there is tons of speed and talent that could get the job done there.
That leaves me with two choices, Charles and Jones. Charles I believe will not just be Murray's security blanket this fall but his primary target. Despite all the talent behind Charles at TE his skill set as a receiver and Murray having played with him so long makes him the guy that will most likely be the guy targeted to pick up the slack with AJ Green gone. This makes him hugely valuable to the team. However when considering value you can't ignore the before mentioned depth at TE. I think that is what separates him from Jones in value. Jarvis Jones will be playing a position that last year was manned by Gamble and Washington. Washington was never a great fit at strong side LB as he is more of a pass rush specialist but had to play there as Houston was manning the weak side. Gamble did an ok job but did not have the speed or athleticism that Jones brings to the position. Jones has the combination of speed and size to be able to rush the passer off the strong side as well as to be able to cover tight ends. This athletic ability should also help to eliminate one of the defenses biggest weaknesses from last year and that is covering the wheel route. His versatility at the outside linebacker position should enable Grantham to be a lot less predictable with where the pass rush is coming, a staple of good 3-4 defenses. The lack of depth of players that can bring the needed tools to his position and his overall talent to me makes Jones the most irreplaceable player on the team this side of Murray.