It’s been a busy week for player movement on the Georgia roster, with several players announcing their draft NFL decisions and others choosing to enter the transfer portal.
A total of 13 players will forfeit their eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, with Devonte Wyatt and Justin Shaffer also entering the draft. Eight players entered the transfer portal, the two biggest names being Jermaine Burton and JT Daniels.
As it stands, Georgia will have 12 scholarship signers assuming Dillon Bell ends up signing with Georgia on National Signing Day. Ladd McConkey and AD Mitchell will be Georgia’s most productive returnees in this position.
Related: What Jermaine Burton’s transfer decision really says about Georgia football’s receiver room
Perhaps the biggest boost this position could get would be health. Kearis Jackson, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, Dominick Blaylock and Arian Smith have all missed time in 2021 through injury. If this quartet is able to stay healthy, Georgia’s wide receiver group should become a lot more explosive.
There is also the possibility of obtaining contributions from Arik Gilbert. He didn’t play for Georgia in 2021 but remained on the roster and was spotted on the championship parade.
Georgia’s passing offense will be aided by tight ends, as Brock Bowers led the team in all receiving categories. With Darnell Washington and freshman Oscar Delp also involved, the burden on the wide reception hall won’t be as great.
But Georgia has lost its two most talented receivers on the 2021 team. The Bulldogs will need McConkey and Mitchell to make further strides while getting key contributions from its previously injured passers.
As a wide receiver, this position was hit hard by the NFL’s draft and transfer portal. Lewis Cine and Derion Kendrick left to play on Sunday, with Ameer Speed, Jalen Kimber, Latavious Brini and Lovasea Carroll entering the transfer gate.
Speed and Kimber have already found new homes in Michigan and Florida respectively. It speaks to the talent in the room that players who couldn’t see the field in Georgia were coveted by other programs.
But it wasn’t all bad news for the Georgia high school, as two seniors will return to become super seniors. Chris Smith and William Poole will take advantage of the additional year of eligibility offered by the NCAA due to the 2020 COVID season.
Smith has started 11 games for Georgia this season and would have made it in all 15 had it not been for a season-ending knee injury. The safety finished the season with three interceptions, including one against Clemson and another against Alabama. His presence will make things much easier for whoever replaces Ciné at the other security point.