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Jamie Newman is now at quarterback at Georgia.

Early 2021 NFL Mock Drafts the latest to add to Jamie Newman hype machine

Connor Riley

Jamie Newman has yet to throw a pass for Georgia in a padded practice, much less an actual game. And yet, as it has ever since he announced in January he would be transferring into Georgia for his final year of eligibility, the hype has only continued to build for the new Georgia quarterback.

First came the Heisman odds, where Newman is +700 to win the award per FoxBet. The only quarterbacks with superior odds are Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

Then came the bump in the way-too-early top-25 polls for the Bulldogs. When the many early polls dropped back in January, most had Georgia near the bottom of the top-10. Now, the Bulldogs are just about consensus top-5 team. While Georgia did bring in the No. 1 recruiting class, Newman likely was a big contributor to the raise.

And with the 2020 NFL Draft now in the books, many draft analysts have already flipped ahead to the 2021 draft cycle. And a number of them have Newman pegged as a first-round draft pick.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Newman landing with the New Orleans Saints next season, where he’ll have the theoretical opportunity to replace Drew Brees.

“Georgia’s Jamie Newman looks to break out this year after transferring from Wake Forest, where he was already one of the more exciting underclassmen in this class,” Miller wrote. “Don’t forget, the last three No. 1 picks in the NFL draft (Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow) were all transfer quarterbacks. Newman is one to keep a close eye on.”

Related: WATCH: How Georgia defense sets up record-breaking 2021 NFL Draft class

The oddsmakers also agree that Newman possesses. first-round potential. Sportsbettingdime.com had Newman at +3300 to be the first player taken, giving him sixth-best odds to be the top player taken. He also has +1200 odds to be the first quarterback off the board, trailing only Lawrence, Fields and Miami’s D’Eriq King.

While Newman had a productive 2019, it’s safe to say he would not be getting the same kind of attention and expectations had he remained at Wake Forest. Such is life when you go to a program that is consistently among the best in the country as opposed to the middle of the ACC.

What’s also interesting about the Georgia football program and the 2021 NFL Draft is that Newman seems to be the only consensus player to be taken in the first round. While some mock drafts have the occasional Richard LeCounte or Eric Stokes, Miller has Newman being the only Georgia player in his first 32 selections.

This past draft saw offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson both go in the first round. But the 2020 NFL Draft also served as a reminder to not put too much credence in these way-too-early-rankings, as a number of mock drafts had Jake Fromm as a first-round pick. He was taken with pick No. 167 in the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills.

Related: Georgia football: Which Bulldog found the best new home in the NFL?

Newman does still have to win the starting quarterback job for the Bulldogs, as despite his more impressive resume — 26 touchdown passes and another 6 rushing touchdowns a season ago — Kirby Smart isn’t just going to hand Newman the starting quarterback job over the likes of Stetson Bennett, D’Wan Mathis and Carson Beck.

“I don’t know that you’d have a number one to be honest with you,” Smart said. “Every kid we’ve ever had, they grad transferred in and competed for the job. He (Newman) knows that it’s a competition. He knows he’s has to beat guys out. That’s the way it has always been.

“I don’t ever look past and say that it’s this guys job. He just has the most game experience and that’s the advantage he has.”

Smart also has recognized that the lack of reps will have an impact on the new look Georgia offense whenever football gets back up and running once again. Georgia did not hold even a single practice, as it was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s going to affect that quarterback more than anything in my opinion,” Smart said. “There’s no substitute for reps, I feel, and you can’t argue that we’re not going to lose reps. We’re losing reps.”

Related: With suspension of spring football, even more pressure falls on the shoulders of Jamie Newman

Newman was able to get some familiarity with his new receivers, as well as new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, prior to the shutdown, just in a much more limited fashion. The NCAA has recently allowed coaches to meet with players for up to 8 hours a week via teleconferencing, though finals at Georgia does impact that at the moment for the Bulldogs.

When things get up and running once again, it’s clear that all eyes, from NFL draft scouts to the national media to the rabid Georgia fan base, will be on Newman and seeing if he can elevate the Georgia offense that floundered often during the 2019 season.

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