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A deep dive on the most important position battle for Georgia football in 2021
The Georgia Bulldogs have a number of holes to fill on the 2021 roster. While there are a number of spots across the secondary that must be filled, there might not be a spot more important than left tackle for Georgia.
As important as defense is, offenses just matter so much more in college football. Alabama and LSU have won the Joe Moore Award in the last two seasons, which is given to the nation’s top offensive line. Those two teams have also won the national title.
For most of Kirby Smart’s tenure, he’s had a first draft pick at the left tackle spot, as that is where Isaiah Wynn and Andrew Thomas starred at the collegiate level. Georgia didn’t have that in 2020 with Jamaree Salyer filling in. He will be back for his senior season, but he might not be Georgia’s starting left tackle.
There could be as many as five realistic options to fill the left tackle spot. Ultimately Matt Luke and Smart will have to decide who best fills this massive role.
Below we offer a glimpse on those candidates and what they bring to the table as far as being the left tackle for the Georgia football team.
Salyer is very clearly one of Georgia’s five best offensive linemen, and he is not No. 5. In the Peach Bowl against Cincinnati, Salyer moved to left guard. That’s probably where Georgia would like to play the senior in 2021 if everything works out.
Georgia opens the season against a Clemson defensive line that figures to be one of the best in the country. Some have theorized of playing Salyer at left tackle for the opener and then moving him to guard starting in the game against UAB so the new left tackle can get established against a less-threatening opponent.
This type of move has been done before, with Georgia starting quarterback Greyson Lambert for the season-opener against North Carolina in 2016. In Georgia’s second game against Nicholls State, freshman Jacob Eason started.
There’s just one problem with having Salyer at left tackle and putting a less experienced player at guard. Clemson’s defensive tackles might be better than the edge rushers, as Bryan Bresee and Tyler Davis both figure to be problems next season.
If Salyer starts at left tackle for the majority of the 2021 season, it likely says a lot about the quality of the guys further down the list. It’s likely best for Salyer and for the Georgia offense if he is at left guard next season, instead of left tackle.