Monday, December 19, 2011

Georgia's biggest recruits for next season are already on the team

By that I am talking about the underclassmen who have declared for the draft. Here is a list of every player, to the best of my knowledge, that could declare to leave for the 2012 NFL draft:
Richard Samuel IV, Marlon Brown, Ty Frix, Shawn Williams, Carlton Thomas, Orson Charles, Arthur Lynch, Kwame Geathers, John Jenkins, Chris Burnette, Dallas Lee, Reuben Falougi, Jarvis Jones, Chase Vassser, Cornelius Washington, Austin Long, Trinton Sturdivant, Aaron Murray, Ben Reynolds, Sanders Commings, Jordan Love, Blake Sailors, Braden Smith, Abry Jones, Derrick Lott, Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten, Baccari Rambo, Michael Gilliard,  and Christian Robinson.

Obviously the vast marjority of those guys are not even considering going pro right now so I will focus on the ones that either are seriously considering it. Despite turning his paper work in for evaluation by the NFL Murray is not going pro this season, will not happen. So who do I think the guys are that are at least giving it some thought? Shawn Williams, Orson Charles, John Jenkins, Cornelius Washingon, Sanders Commings, and Baccari Rambo would be at the top of my list. I don't think that Williams or Commmings will hear anything from the NFL to really temp them. Washington I only put on this list because he may look at the other linebackers and think that he playing time may be limited which might hurt his draft stock next year. He would hurt depth next year and Georgia would be losing a good player as he was starting to emerge before his suspension set him back.

That leaves Jenkins, Rambo and Charles as the three that Richt will have to recruit the hardest to come back next year. I think all are truly tempted by the NFL but I don't know them personally so it is hard to speak in terms of will they stay or go. What I want to focus on is the order of importance each has to the team. I rank them as Rambo, Jenkins and finally Charles. This is not to say that is the order of talent but instead the who would be the biggest loss THIS off season.

Rambo would be the biggest loss because there is little to no experience behind him at safety. This season the first guy to play safety behind the starters was Commings. It was a luxary Georgia could afford because they had Boykin and Smith to play the corners. With Boykin gone next year Commings will most likely be needed fulltime at corner. Rambo was one of two all-americans on the defense this year. He led the team in interceptions and if he came back it would be a huge boost to next years team.

The second biggest loss would be Jenkins. If Geathers were not coming back this would be the number one guy we needed back. With Geathers as insurance his rank drops down to number two. By the end of the year Jenkins had surpassed Geathers as the starter but both were playing about the same number of snaps when Geathers was healthy. However having both available is big as it allows Georgia to keep the keystone of the 3-4, a dominant nose, fresh throughout games and for the season.

Of the three most likely to leave I think Charles may be the most talented but also the guy we could most afford to lose. He led the team in receptions this season although Mitchell probably would have had he not missed a few games with a pulled hamstring. Having him makes Georgia a more dangerous offensive team but Georgia returns all of its wide receivers. Also despite losing fellow tight end Aron White to graduation the tight end position Georgia has Lynch who has a lot of experience and Jay Rome who was considered the best tight end in the country coming out of high school. Having Charles back would be nice but it is not a position of need as much as safety and nose tackle are to next years team.

It is wishful thinking to picture everyone coming back for next season but I really hope that it happens. There are reasons beyond simple wishing that they might. For one Jarvis Jones has already stated he will be in the defensive players ears about staying. He is a leader and the peer pressure from him might be enough to sway them to stay. The other reason is that the players on the team this year seemed to have good chemistry and with most of a team that won ten games and played for the SEC title this season coming back the thought of winning the SEC title next year with an outside shot at a national title has to be appealling to them.

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