Training camps are underway across the NFL and plenty of former Georgia football players are preparing for the new season, including six drafted rookies. So let’s take a look at how these rookie Dawgs in the NFL are faring in the very early stages of the preseason.
New England Patriots
Sony Michel is still more than a month away from taking his first NFL snap, but he’s already working some with the Patriot’s first team. According to Matt Dolloff of 985TheSportsHub.com, Michel, the 31st overall pick in April’s draft, worked with the first-team in the red zone but has yet to impress with the ball in his hands. Instead, it’s Michel’s blocking that has stood out.
Even if the Patriots don’t use Michel as a bell cow back right away, they clearly believe in his blocking. He was as a lead blocker during some kickoff drills, and also may already be the best pass-protecting back on the roster.
Fellow Patriot’s first-rounder Isaiah Wynn may project as a guard over the long-term, but it seems the Patriots are at least willing to give him a chance to impress at tackle, the position he played at Georgia. Wynn, the 23rd overall pick, worked behind Trent Brown as the second-team left tackle on the first day of camp, according to Dolloff.
Taking a step away from Georgia rookies for a moment, former Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell missed all of the 2017 season with a knee injury, and he also missed the first day of training camp. Mitchell was in attendance Friday, but he was limited in his participation. There has been speculation that New England has considered trading Mitchell in recent weeks, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick decried any media speculation in a press conference earlier this week.
— Binge Sports (@BingeSports) July 26, 2018
Former Georgia WR Javon Wims, a seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft, told Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune that he’s using the early days of his first NFL training camp to hone in on the details of receiver play at the highest level of the game.
“One day it’s putting my concentration on my explosion getting in and out of breaks,” he said. “The next day it’s focusing on pure route running and trying to stay consistent there.
“I know I can catch. In that regard, I’m pretty good. Now it’s about putting everything else together around that.”
But the big story out of Bear’s camp is the status of another rookie out of Georgia, eighth-overall pick Roquan Smith. Smith and the Bears are still working on fleshing out his rookie deal, and as such, he’s yet to report to camp. Chicago coach Matt Nagy is remaining cautiously optimistic about getting Smith to camp soon, according to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The good thing is, his being able to be there for the OTAs, he knows what he has, so he’s able to be at home going through his assignments,” Nagy said. “But it’s totally different from being out here for live reps, and he knows that. He’s aware of that.
“[Chicago GM Ryan Pace] said it before: It’s part of the process. But at the same time, too, you are missing out on those reps these other guys are getting.”
There’s been no news on Nick Chubb to come out of Browns camp as of yet, but at least in some clips from drills in shorts he seems to be forging a nice connection with fellow rookie and Rose Bowl opponent Baker Mayfield.
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham) July 26, 2018
New York Giants
Likewise, there’s been little said about third-rounder Lorenzo Carter so far in his first camp. But fellow Giants outside linebacker Kareem Martin was impressed with the “growth” of Carter during offseason workouts.
OLB Kareem Martin saw “growth” with rookie Lorenzo Carter this spring. “He got better every day.”
— New York Giants (@Giants) July 26, 2018