Georgia football 2022 roster movement shapes 3 key position groups

Georgia football-2022 roster-position groups
Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) and Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) during the College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday Jan. 10, 2022. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Mackenzie Miles

It’s been a busy week with regards to player movement on Georgia’s roster, with several players announcing their NFL draft decisions and others electing to enter the transfer portal.

In all 13 players will forgo eligibility and enter the NFL draft, with Devonte Wyatt and Justin Shaffer also entering the draft. Eight players have entered the transfer portal, with the two biggest names being Jermaine Burton and JT Daniels.

As it currently stands, Georgia will have 12 scholarship signees assuming Dillon Bell ends up signing with Georgia on National Signing Day. Ladd McConkey and AD Mitchell will be Georgia’s most productive returnees at the position.

Related: What transfer decision of Jermaine Burton really says about Georgia football wide receiver room

Perhaps the biggest boost this position could get would be health. Kearis Jackson, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, Dominick Blaylock and Arian Smith all missed time in 2021 due to injury. If that quartet is able to remain healthy, Georgia’s group of wide receivers should become much more explosive.

There is also the possibility of getting contributions from Arik Gilbert. He did not play for Georgia in 2021 but remained on the roster and was spotted at the championship parade.

The Georgia passing offense will be aided by its tight ends, as Brock Bowers led the team in every receiving category. With Darnell Washington and freshman Oscar Delp also involved, the burden on the wide receiver room will not be as significant.

But Georgia did lose its two most talented receivers from the 2021 team. The Bulldogs will need McConkey and Mitchell to take further steps forward while getting key contributions from its previously injured pass-catchers.

Secondary

Like wide receiver, this position has been hit hard by the NFL draft and transfer portal. Lewis Cine and Derion Kendrick are off to play on Sundays, with Ameer Speed, Jalen Kimber, Latavious Brini and Lovasea Carroll entering the transfer portal.

Speed and Kimber have already found new homes at Michigan State and Florida respectively. It speaks to the talent in the room that players who weren’t seeing the field at Georgia were coveted by other programs.

But it wasn’t all bad news for the Georgia secondary, as two seniors will return to become super seniors. Chris Smith and William Poole will take advantage of the extra year of eligibility put forth by the NCAA due to the 2020 COVID season.

Smith started 11 games for Georgia this season, and would’ve done so in all 15 were it not for a late-season 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 steps in for Cine at the other safety spot.

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