Georgia football-2023 roster-movement
Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart leads his team onto the field during the first half of the College Football Playoff National Championship against the TCU Horned Frogs at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday, January 9, 2023. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

What offseason roster turnover tells us about 2023 Georgia football team

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What offseason roster turnover tells us about 2023 Georgia football team

The transfer portal is closed and the window to enter the 2023 NFL Draft has shut. In all, the Bulldogs saw 10 players enter the transfer portal and another 10 players give up remaining eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

In all, the Bulldogs have seen 24 players from the 2022 team depart the program this offseason. Stetson Bennett, Robert Beal and Chris Smith exhausted their collegiate eligibility, while offensive lineman Devin Willock tragically passed away in a car accident on Jan. 15.

Georgia football players to enter the transfer portal

  • AD Mitchell -- transferring to Texas
  • Dominick Blaylock
  • Brett Seither -- transferring to Georgia Tech
  • Arik Gilbert -- transferring to Nebraska
  • Ryland Goede
  • Jacob Hood
  • Bill Norton -- transferring to Arizona
  • MJ Sherman -- transferring to Nebraska
  • Trezmen Marhsall -- transferring to Alabama
  • Jaheim Singletary

Georgia football players leaving for 2023 NFL Draft

  • Robert Beal
  • Chris Smith
  • Stetson Bennett
  • Jack Podlesny
  • Kenny McIntosh
  • Jalen Carter
  • Kelee Ringo
  • Nolan Smith
  • Darnell Washington
  • Broderick Jones
  • Warren McClendon
  • Warren Ericson
  • Kearis Jackson

So with the roster turnover portion of the offseason largely behind us — the transfer portal will re-open from May 1 through May 15 and National Signing Day is set for Feb. 1 — we have a much better idea of what Georgia’s roster will look like for next season.

Below are some thoughts on where the state of the roster as Georgia enters next season. Kirby Smart has said the Bulldogs won’t lose as many players as they did last season but they still have some key players to replace in the attempt to win a third-consecutive national championship.

Related: Chris Smith issues a warning about Georgia football: ‘This team is going to be a problem for years to come’

Georgia football quarterbacks keep depth, gain help

Bennett will no longer suit up for Georgia this coming season. We knew that when he walked off the field for the final time against TCU. What we did not know was whether all three other scholarship quarterbacks would be back for Georgia.

So far, none of Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff or Gunner Stockton have elected to enter the transfer portal. The Bulldogs will have an open competition to replace Bennett and while Beck may be the favorite, Vandagriff and Stockton are certainly talented enough to win the job for Georgia.

In addition to bringing all three quarterbacks back, Georgia’s next starting quarterback got some great news in terms of what he’ll be surrounded with.

Georgia went out and added two wide receivers from the transfer portal in Dominic Lovett and RaRa Thomas. Both led their respective teams in receiving last season, with Lovett coming from Missouri and Thomas leaving Mississippi State.

They’ll join Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint to give Georgia a well-established group of pass catchers. With strong offseasons from Arian Smith, Dillon Bell and Oscar Delp, Georgia’s next quarterback should have a very potent group of pass catchers.

But the biggest boost to next season’s offense comes in the form of Sedrick Van Pran. He bypassed the NFL draft, electing to return to Georgia for another season. In addition to anchoring one of the best offensive lines in the country, he’ll provide invaluable leadership to whoever is taking snaps for Georgia next season.

Van Pran is entering his third season as a starter and has seen just about everything an opposing defense can throw at an offense. That’s an invaluable resource to have for a first-year quarterback.

Georgia football defense should more resemble 2021 unit

The Bulldogs have some major pieces to replace on this side of the ball. Gone are All-Americans in Carter and Chris Smith. Ringo and Nolan Smith played big roles as well, though Georgia already has experienced life without Smith given his season came to an end in the win over Florida.

But other than those four departures, the losses on defense were minimal. Both starting inside linebackers return in Smael Mondon and Jamon Dumas-Johnson. Carter and Norton were the only two defensive linemen to leave the program. Georgia brings back experienced linemen in Zion Logue, Warren Brinson, Naz Stackhouse and Tramel Walthour in addition to high-upside options in Mykel Williams and Bear Alexander.

The secondary also has a healthy mix of experience and upside. Javon Bullard, Malaki Starks and Kamari Lassiter all return as starters, while the battle to replace Ringo should be fierce. Perhaps the biggest question mark is who steps in for Chris Smith at the other safety spot. Georgia did go out and add Smoke Bouie from Texas A&M, with Bouie having the versatility to play either safety or star.

The position with the most uncertainty is outside linebacker. Chaz Chambliss gained a lot of experience in replacing Nolan Smith. Beyond him though, there are a lot of questions. What does year 2 look like for Marvin Jones Jr., who battled injury for much of his freshman campaign? How quickly can 2023 signees Damon Wilson, Sam M’Pemba and Gabe Harris make an impact?

With all Georgia brings back, it’s worth keeping in mind the Bulldogs signed an elite crop of 2023 recruits. Starks and Williams were both early contributors this past season and it would be pretty fair to expect a few of the young defenders to find their way onto the field.

Even the talent leaving is strong

As of this writing, six of the Bulldogs who left via the transfer portal have found new homes. All of them will be going remaining at Power 5 schools. Norton is off to Arizona. Sherman and Gilbert will play together at Nebraska. Seither follows Buster Faulkner to Georgia Tech. Marshall left for Alabama, while Mitchell heads to Texas.

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