Scouting the SEC: Georgia

All in the Family

The ‘Dawgs enter the second year of Mark Richt's tenure and are still a program trying to get over the hump. They are explosive on offense with several top pro-prospects but the player that may make the most impact in next April's draft lay on the other side of the ball.

Georgia Bulldogs

Receiver Terrence Edwards hit a few bumps in the road last year as a junior and was put on the pine for a while thanks to uninspired performances but at the top of his game is a quick, elusive and sure handed wide out and a very active part of the offense. Edwards shows good football awareness and makes himself an active target for the quarterback but his slight build could mean Edwards will have a tough time taking the pounding at the next level. He also does not have the downfield speed to stretch defenses but if he pulls it together Edwards could jump into the middle rounds, otherwise the late frames is where he'll land. Bottom line to our minds; Edwards has the opportunity to be a solid third or fourth receiver at the next level. Running back Musa Smith is big, powerful and a ball carrier with solid running skills but a player that cannot stay healthy. That must quickly change if anyone is going to seriously consider him for the next level. Ben Watson takes over the starting tight end spot and is a solid blocker with adequate hands but minimal speed or abilities to make plays down the field. The strength of the offense, both on the field and in the War Room, is the offensive line. Like his brother Matt, Jon Stinchcomb is fundamentally sound and a great technician at tackle. Very effective in pass protection with a good head for the position, Stinchcomb takes maximum advantage of blocking angles and body positioning. He is not dominant run blocking but has the body to get bigger as he matures physically. We do not feel Stinchcomb had an effective season last year (though he was injured part of the season) and is a bit limited athletically. He must stand above the crowd as a senior, performing well in the post season, if he's to break into the first day. Likewise guard Kevin Breedlove is limited athletically, though not nearly the technician of Stinchcomb and a stiff lineman only good in confined quarters. His run blocking abilities could garner late round consideration. Part-time starter Kareem Mitchell is a big, powerful strong-side tackle that dominates opponents but lacks the feel for his position to the point where he looks a bit awkward. Mitchell does have practice squad potential. The top two linemen on this unit could be the most unheralded in the nation. George Foster is an athletic tackle with terrific innate abilities. Strong and nimble, Foster handles opponents at the line of scrimmage or easily gets out to the second level annihilating linebackers. Effective blocking for the run or pass, Foster has a great deal of upside potential but must improve the details of his game both technically and mentally. Guard Alex Jackson absolutely dominates defenders at the point of the attack and opens holes for the running game, overwhelming opponents and playing with a mean streak. Though he displays some abilities to move in space Jackson does not show great blocking range and may be limited in the number of schemes he can play in. Still; he is a solid mid-to-late round consideration.  The best prospect on the offense, if not the entire team, is true sophomore Fred Gibson, a game breaking and game impacting wide out with a great future.

The prospects on defense are limited as compared to the other side of the ball but does contain the Bulldog with the greatest amount of potential at the next level in the form of yet another Bailey brother. Boss Bailey, the third family member to play for UGA, returned and had a good season last year after a freak knee injury sidelined him in 2000. Like brother Champ, the All Pro corner from the Redskins, Boss is a tremendous athlete that displays great range and does an excellent job in pass coverage. Strong, he holds his ground against blocks and forces the action. Though rarely asked to blitz up the field, Bailey impacts the game when used in that capacity. He could very well be the first outside linebacker drafted next April if he continues to progress from his performance in '01. Tony Gilbert is a solid linebacker constantly around the action and a force defending the run. Explosive up the field, Gilbert quickly fills the and is fast in a straight line but does not play with the same skills in pass coverage and comes up a bit shy in the size/speed department, which will hurt his rankings. Junior cornerback Bruce Thornton was beaten often last year but flashed cover skills on occasion and has the underlying athletic skills to be successful; he is someone to keep an eye on.

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