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Post A look at the post-spring depth chart

Wednesday May 9, 2007

David Ching along with several others report today about the latest preseason depth chart changes. Of course a depth chart at this stage always needs these three disclaimers:

  1. True freshmen aren’t on the chart. It’s likely that a few will work their way into the lineup by September. Players "coming off injuries" are listed separately from their positions.
  2. Depth charts will change before the season. We’ve seen the chart used as motivation before, and there are positions like the Battle/Dobbs/Tripp "tie" that have to be sorted out. "It’s certainly how we feel at the moment, but there’s an awful lot that can change, as we all know," explained Coach Richt.
  3. Someone has to start, but several positions frequently rotate players. Players far down the receiver and defensive line charts will see plenty of time.

With that out of the way, let’s overanalyze a few places that stand out:

  • Is it me, or does the WR depth chart look a little unbalanced? I realize that the flanker and split end positions are not identical and interchangable. I also grant that we’ll be using multiple receiver sets and rotate guys in and out all of the time. Still, at one position you have the veterans Bailey and Massaquoi and then the sure-handed Durham. Massaquoi is the leading returning receiver and won’t be starting. Then we move over to flanker and see Henderson starting at 5’10", 150 lb. with Bryant backing him up.
  • Not much has changed on the offensive line. Only one of the top four on the key left side (protecting Stafford’s back) has been at Georgia longer than a spring practice. It’s going to be dicey.
  • As I mentioned above, there are three guys tied for one of the starting DE jobs. Touted JUCO transfer Jarius Wynn is not among them. A tie for a starting position is not a positive thing for me. No one was neck-and-neck with David Pollack.
  • The defensive tackles are also a jumble. Tripp Taylor, a converted walkon fullback, is listed on the second team. No offense to the guy who did a fine job last year as the wham fullback, but Corvey Irvin was recruited from junior college to be that depth. This will be a position to watch in August.
  • If there’s a chance for a newcomer to make an impact, it seems to be linebacker. Akeem Hebron is the most recent bit of attrition there. Brandon Miller is still a question mark in the middle, and Marcus Washington is more or less the second-string MLB by default. The loss of Hebron for the year puts a lot of pressure on Gamble and Dent to be ready to play. Ellerbe has reclaimed the starting WLB spot, and I bet he holds on to it this time.
  • The secondary is looking really solid. When you have a former starter like Ramarcus Brown fighting for a second-string position at corner and prototypes like Reshad Jones and Antavious Coates as your depth at safety, you should be in fine shape. Having Asher Allen, Prince Miller, and Brown behind the starting corners makes me sleep well at night.
  • Brian Mimbs, he of the spectacular onside kick in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, is the punter, but we expect Drew Butler to get a look in August.
  • I wonder if there will be competition for the punt return job. Henderson seems like the obvious choice, but it’s a lot closer than we think. Mikey got nearly half his punt return yardage last year on three returns, two against Western Kentucky and one against Tennessee. After the Tennessee game, Henderson didn’t have a return over 20 yards. Thomas Flowers isn’t to be ignored in this conversation, but the Dawgs do have two good proven options at this key special teams position.

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