Georgia Football: These Former Bulldogs in the NFL Are In Danger of Getting Cut
This week, I’ve been reviewing NFL rosters and analyzing position battles. I guess this is the “bad news” portion of the program.
First, a few quick-hitters. I don’t expect the following players to make final rosters:
- David Marvin, K, Atlanta Falcons: Marvin is getting a shot at both punter and kicker, but he never won the full-time kicking duties at UGA, so it’s hard to expect him to do it with a pro team.
- Toby Johnson, DT, Detroit Lions: Johnson played in two games for the Vikings back in 2016 but never saw the field in 2017. The Lions are his fifth team since he went pro in 2015, but it’s hard to see him sticking.
- John Atkins, DT, New England Patriots: If he’s lucky, he’ll get some practice squad experience in New England.
- Greg Pyke, OL, Arizona Cardinals: Pyke had a cup of coffee last year with the Bills but is unlikely to get much more than that with the Cardinals.
- Quincy Mauger, S, Oakland Raiders: Mauger just signed with the Raiders a few weeks ago, so he could change his fortunes, but for now he looks likely to land on the practice squad.
- Sterling Bailey, DE, Carolina Panthers: Bailey is listed as 5th string and unlikely to make a roster.
Now, a few deeper dives.
Davin Bellamy, LB, Houston Texans:
Not gonna lie…the whole “Humble Yourself” thing is a tough look now. Baker Mayfield, who drew the ire of Bellamy during the Rose Bowl, was drafted first overall. Davin Bellamy was not drafted. Baker Mayfield signed a 4-year contract worth up to $32.7 million (with a $21.8 million signing bonus). Davin Bellamy signed a 3-year deal worth up to $1.7 million (with a signing bonus of $7,500). Baker Mayfield is battling an 8th-year veteran to be his team’s starting quarterback. Davin Bellamy is listed as a fourth string linebacker on a team that deploys a 3-4 system.
The whole story on Bellamy is unwritten, but in the short-term it seems unlikely that he will make the Texans’ 53-man roster. Of course, pre-season depth charts aren’t always up-to-date, but athere isn’t a lot of good news out there for Bellamy – literally. If you search for “Davin Bellamy” on Google News, each of the first 12 articles is about Georgia’s defense and departing players.
Turns out it’s Bellamy who is being humbled. At least for the time being.
Orson Charles, TE, Cleveland Browns
Charles is proof of just how insane the talent pool is at the NFL level. As a true freshman at Georgia, Charles hauled in 23 catches for 374 yards (16.3 yards per catch) and 3 touchdowns. The next year he caught 26 balls for 422 yards (16.2 per catch) and two scores. As a junior, he hauled in 45 passes for 574 yards (12.8 per catch) and five TDs. And that guy hasn’t been able to land permanently on an NFL roster. To make matters even more confounding, he’s got legitimate NFL experience as both a tight end and a fullback. But he can’t find solid ground in the league.
Charles spent 2012 and 2013 with the Bengals, played on the Titans practice squad and briefly with the Saints in 2014, didn’t play at all in 2015, joined the Lions in 2016 and had two stints with the chiefs in 2017. He’s played in 36 career games (29 in his first two seasons) and logged just 11 total catches (only two since 2013). I thought he might end up sticking with the Chiefs after hauling in an 18-yard pass in week 15 last year and a 35-yard completion in Week 16, but he’s moved to Cleveland now and hasn’t progressed up the depth chart to assertively.
As an aside, how great was John Lilly as a tight ends coach for Georgia? Charles accounted for 1,370 yards and 10 TDs in three years under Lilly’s tutelage. Arthur Lynch had two 400-yards seasons under Lilly. Jeb Blazevich was third on a 10-win team in receiving as a true freshman in 2014. Based on NFL outcomes, it seems Lilly maximized talent at the position in Athens. That’s not to say the Dawgs aren’t getting the most out of talent now. It’s just a tip of the cap to Lilly.
Marlon Brown, WR, Chicago Bears
Brown’s career is a mystery to me. Highly-recruited out of Memphis, Brown was never the star many anticipated in Athens. He posted 15, 133 and 234 receiving yards in his first three seasons with the Bulldogs and began to break-out as a senior (27 catches for 469 yards) before his season was halted due to injury after eight games. But then—after going undrafted—he logged 49 catches for 524 yards and seven scores as a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens.
That level of production combined with a strong close to his collegiate career made Brown seem like something of a late-bloomer. But production slipped in 2014 (24 catches for 255 yards and no TDs in 14 games) and declined even more in 2015 (14 catches for 112 yards and no TDs in 10 games). He appeared in two games with the Denver Broncos in 2016 but did not log any statistics. In 2017, he hauled in six passes for 90 yards during the preseason with the Broncos but didn’t make the roster.
Now he’s in Chicago trying to push for a roster spot, which frankly seems unattainable. Ironically, I think he may be beat out by another “late bloomer” from Georgia, Javon Wims. WIms, a JUCO transfer for the Bulldogs caught just 17 passes for 190 yards and 1 TD as a junior. Last year, Wims led the team in receptions (45), yards (720) and TDs (7).
That’s all I got/