Georgia Football: Position SWOT Analysis- the Quarterbacks
There has been no bigger question mark rearing its ugly, speculative head over the 2015 Georgia Bulldogs quite like this simple question: who will play quarterback?
This question hasn’t really been a valid one in a long time. Hutson Mason performed admirably at the position in 2014 with a strong 21/4 TD/Int ratio. Before that, Aaron Murray had the reins for four years. The Joe Cox bridge year prior to Murray and after Matt Stafford was pretty rough, but the point is this hasn’t really been a toss-up position for the Dawgs in many years. It’s not to say the current guys are all the Coxes and Tereshinskis of the world, but it’s also safe to say they’re not the Murrays and Staffords.
Another interesting wrinkle in this battle is new OC Brian Schottenheimer. What does he value? We shall find out.
|Jersey||Class||Name||Comp. Ranking||Class Rank||2014 Stats|
|12||RSSO||Brice Ramsey||0.9518||6||24/39, 333 yards, 3 TD 2 Int|
|11||Junior||Greyson Lambert||0.9112||8||154/261, 1632 yards, 10 TD 11 Int (at UVA)|
|10||Junior||Faton Bauta||0.8799||10||4/5, 48 yards, 0 TD 0 Int|
After re-watching the spring game and reading some early quotes, I really believe the coaches when they say that (for now) the three-man QB race is wide open. Let’s analyze the position as a whole and handicap who’s going to be under center on September 5.
STRENGTHS: The first thing that jumps out at me about this group is the versatility. There’s the experience of Greyson Lambert, the mobility of Faton Bauta, and the cannon of Brice Ramsey. If you blended their skills together, you’d have a perfect SEC quarterback. As that isn’t the case, it’ll be Schottenheimer’s job to determine what he values most from his triggerman.
Additionally, all three of these guys have strong pedigrees. The random decimal number in the chart is explained here, and will be used for all of these analyses. Lambert had offers from Georgia, Alabama, and Miami coming out of Jesup. Even Bauta, who rates as a high three-star per the composites, was a top-1o dual threat in the class of 2012. More on this in Opportunities.
WEAKNESSES: Different ones for different guys. Lambert has the most experience, but his numbers and (trust me on this as your resident ACC-watcher) his performance leave a lot to be desired. Virginia runs a pro-style offense similar to Georgia’s, and I’ll try to justify Lambert’s failings later, but…man. He just never struck me as ‘good’.
Ramsey’s main weakness may be inexperience, it may be immaturity (according to some reports). If it’s the former, nothing but reps will change that– it’s unfortunate that he has to learn new terminology after taking all of the QB2 snaps last year, that may stunt his development. If it’s immaturity, one hopes the veteran leaders on the team can take control (see what I did there?) of the young QB and get his mental game on par with his physical attributes.
While Bauta is an improved passer, I don’t think he is the right fit for this system. Plain and simple.
OPPORTUNITIES: One can easily put on some red and black shades and cover all of those weaknesses.
Lambert struggled, but a porous O-line got him hurt last year. He threw for over 200 yards in each of the games representing the meat of Virginia’s ACC schedule last year (Georgia Tech, Florida State, Virginia Tech…I’d include North Carolina but you could’ve thrown for 200 on them). With better talent surrounding him, he could be an Alabama-style efficient game manager in Athens.
Ramsey is just simply…so damn talented. Every college team has to replace their QB every 1-3 years, and he just doesn’t have the reps necessary to really be considered a finished product or a sure thing. He represents the highest and best, potential-wise, of the group.
As for Bauta? Perhaps Schottenheimer installs some read option and allows him to run wild with the threat of Nick Chubb or Sony Michel home runs. He could probably manage the game as efficiently as Lambert and add another element to a strong Georgia offense.
THREATS: It’s quite simple, really. The passing game is the only major question mark on the 2015 team, and that includes a green receiving corps. In an ideal setting, someone emerges as a superstar talent. I don’t expect that to happen. Georgia just needs a guy who understands the offense and manages the game. Lambert’s negative TD/Int ratio is a cause for concern, as to is Ramsey’s inexperience and gunslinger mentality.
Put another way: I find it more likely that one of these guys could press and lose Georgia a game this year than step up and pull victory from the jaws of defeat.
HANDICAPPING THE RACE: Though they’re all playing in a ‘new’ offense, the schemes should be familiar for all three guys. Ramsey and Bauta have an extra spring with the playbook on Lambert, but Lambert has seen a lot more live bullets.
Even taking the conservative ‘don’t screw it up’ approach, I have to think Ramsey will emerge as the guy taking snaps from Brandon Kublanow against UL-Monroe. That and a game the next week against Vanderbilt should give the coaches opportunities to see each in live action, but I think Ramsey gives Georgia the best chance to reach its potential on offense in 2015.
Agree? Disagree? Is this post drivel? Comment below, or tweet me @Chad_Floyd and let the great QB debate of 2015 begin!