ATHENS — ESPN analyst Todd McShay provided some insight into why oddsmakers are learning so heavily toward Alabama over Georgia in the SEC.
McShay, who covers pro and college football and provides NFL draft analysis, released his “way-too-early” list of the top 32 prospects in the draft class for the ESPN-plus paysite.
There are six Alabama players on it, but no Georgia players on it.
There have been other early mock drafts showing Jamie Newman, Richard LeCounte, Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell as potential high draft picks.
There are enough PFF ratings and offseason examples of why Monty Rice, Malik Herring, Azeez Ojulari, Jordan Davis or Jamaree Salyer could be capable of breakthrough seasons.
Rice, for what it’s worth, seems determined to do something to change the narrative.
But they are not on McShay’s list, and it will be interesting to see how UGA fares on the preseason All-SEC teams.
It’s been said to the victors go the spoils, and Alabama’s head-to-head wins over Georgia in 2017 and 2018 resonate.
If McShay’s projection is true to form, it would justify why the Tide was named a 7 1/2-point favorite in the team’s Sept. 19 clash in Tuscaloosa.
It would also be somewhat alarming form the standpoint that Georgia’s recruiting classes have out-ranked or been on par with Alabama’s the three years the eligible draftees came into school.
In 2016 — not that fifth-year seniors are often first-round NFL picks — the Tide’s class ranked No. 1 and UGA was No. 6 per the 247Sports composite.
But in 2017 the Bulldogs narrowed the gap, No. 3 to Alabama’s No.1.
And then in 2018, of course, Georgia had the No.1-ranked recruiting class and the Tide was No. 5.
So why wouldn’t Georgia measure up when it comes to producing NFL talent?
One could point to roster management, or players leaving early.
Fact is, it’s too early to say if McShay is on the money or overlooking some Bulldogs’ players.
A few things to note:
• Ohio State quarterback and former UGA quarterback Justin Fields is No. 4 on the list. Fields was part of Georgia’s No. 1-ranked 2018 signing class.
• Newman didn’t make the list, but his former teammate and go-to receiver Sage Surratt did. Those who rag on Newman’s finish to last season fail to take into account Surratt was out the final four games of 2019.
• In January, safety Otis Reese and lineman Cade Mays joined 2019 transfers Fields, Luke Ford and Brenton Cox as players to transfer from Georgia that were part of that No. 1 signing class in 2018. All were Top 100 recruits.
Below is a list of where McShay has the Alabama players ranked in his ESPN pay site article.
At each of the Alabama positions, DawgNation lists the top Georgia draft-eligible players at the same position are listed below them:
No. 7 CB Patrick Surtain ll
(Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, D.J. Daniel)
No. 10 WR Jaylen Waddle
(Demetris Robertson, Matt Landers, Kearis Jackson, Tommy Bush)
No. 15 WR DeVonta Smith
No. 21 LB Dylan Moses
(Monty Rice, Channing Tindall, Quay Walker)
No. 27 RB Najee Harris
(Zamir White, James Cook)
No. 31 DT LaBryan Ray
(Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, Julian Rochester)