Georgia is coming off one of its best offensive seasons in program history, which it can continue to build considering it returned the majority of its offensive production from last season. Their offensive game is something the Bulldogs continue to try to elevate, but what’s their biggest question heading into the 2022 season?
Some might say it lies in the quarter room and whether or not Stetson Bennett can continue to build on what he did last season. Another question might be whether Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton are replacing Zamir White and James Cook with them now in the NFL.
While both of these questions are legitimate, the more important is: Can Georgia find depth at wide receiver?
That’s not to say Georgia doesn’t have talent in this position. Players like Adonai Mitchell, Ladd McConkey and Kearis Jackson have proven what they are capable of, but that’s about all the list goes for when it comes to quality gaming experience, especially considering that the Bulldogs lost George Pickens to the NFL and one of their most explosive point guards, Jermaine Burton, to Alabama via the transfer portal.
The question starts with players like Dominick Blaylock. Yes, he showed a lot of promise in his debut campaign in 2019 but that was before he was out through injury for the better part of two years with back-to-back knee injuries. Or even Arian Smith, a player who clearly excels as a deep threat but has also dealt with the injury bug for most of his career. After all, he’s only had five receptions in his career, and three of them were touchdowns. It’s not a question of talent, but rather a lack of depth.
Scroll to continue
Head coach Kirby Smart even spoke about his team’s lack of depth at the position earlier in the offseason, saying:
“Yes, I think we have improved. We are still not where we need to be. I feel really good, we have Ladd (McConkey) and AD (Mitchell). These are SEC broads who can compete at a high level. But, you get past that, Marcus (Rosemy-Jacksaint) did a terrific job. He is extremely intelligent and can play in all positions. We don’t like, OK, ‘this guy has a hamstring, who’s gonna come in?’ We don’t have that. We need to develop this. We have to get Arian [Smith] and Jackson [Meeks] and CJ [Smith] and De’Nylon [Morrissette] at speed.”
Georgia has made progress in consistently landing top players at wide receiver and the coming season will be a big test to see if those former recruits can turn into valuable contributors on Saturdays.
That’s part of the reason receivers coach Bryan McClendon was such a crucial recruit following the departure of former receivers coach Cortez Hankton. He provided Georgia with the ability to consistently recruit with the nation’s top programs at receiver, something Georgia struggled with in Smart’s days.
They have a lot of potential on their depth chart, but that potential will need to turn into production in 2022 for them to continue their recent attacking success.