Category Archives: General Sports
I’ve been blogging about Dawgs in the NFL all week. But how about the Dawgs that aren’t in the NFL? I can’t believe these guys aren’t on rosters.
Jones received an injury settlement from the Arizona Cardinals last Septembers and hasn’t really been heard from since. Quite obviously, a lingering back injury limited Jones (remember, he had back/spine/neck issues dating back to his days at USC before he transferred to Georgia), but his career certainly lacked the punch many expected.
A first round pick back in 2013, Jones lacked the explosiveness to become the outside edge rusher that many expected. Though he could still come back, it appears his NFL career lasted just four years and saw only six quarterback sacks.
It’s wild to me that Murray, the SEC’s all-time leader in [insert passing statistic here] didn’t last as an NFL backup. He was a full roster participant with the Chiefs in 2014 and 2015 before serving as a practice squad QB briefly for the Cardinals in 2016 and signing for a few weeks with the Eagles later in the season. Murray has thrust himself into the sports media (and insurance) business and seems unlikely to make another NFL bid.
Now a graduate assistant at Georgia, it’s hard to believe Rambo didn’t hold on for longer at the NFL level. He started three games as a rookie for the Washington Redskins in 2013, floundered about for a bit in 2014 and then was an 8-game starter for the Bills in 2015 and started five games for the Dolphins in 2016. Rambo intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles in a single game back in 2015. How does that guy not make it?
The story isn’t written for Trent, and I refuse to pass judgment on him for going pro early. After going undrafted this past spring, Thompson signed a 3-year deal with the Cleveland Browns worth up to $1.71 million. Unfortunately, none of that was guaranteed and Thompson was released a few weeks ago. If he hasn’t been claimed yet, it’s hard to imagine him landing on a roster before the season begins in earnest.
There was a period during which it seemed like Herrera was the only player on Todd Grantham’s defense who knew where to go. And then there was a period during which he anchored Jeremy Pruitt’s unit. Through all of this, Herrerra registered 334 total tackles with 21 coming behind the line of scrimmage. He also logged 3.5 career sacks, 3 interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and nine deflected passes as a Bulldog. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft and played only three games for the Colts.
I have to believe he will be back once more fully healthy.
Much like Herrera, it’s hard to understand how Sanders’ production in the SEC didn’t translate to meaningful NFL attention. Sanders collegiate state line is no joke: 54 games, 53 starts, 156 tackes, 11.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 16 interceptions, 381 interception return yards, 23 pass deflections, 3 fumble recoveries. Sanders was with the Eagles briefly this summer. He worked out with the Cowboys earlier this week but was not signed.
Davis was waived in June by the Giants with an injury settlement, so maybe he’ll resurface. But like Sanders, he was incredibly productive as a defensive back. He started 45 games and logged even more tackles than Sanders (184) while also forcing three fumbles, recovering five fumbles and intercepting five passes.
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/
Per yesterday’s post, 43 former Georgia Bulldogs are currently on NFL rosters. By my estimation, 32-34 players should make final 53-man rosters when the preseason wraps up. Here’s some analysis on that.
Barring injury or otherwise unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, conventional wisdom would suggest that a starter at this point (heading into the second week of preseason games) would hold onto a roster spot in some capacity. Therefore, I’m comfortable suggesting the following players will remain active.
- Thomas Davis, LB, Carolina Panthers
- Leonard Floyd, LB, Chicago Bears
- Cordy Glenn, OT, Cincinnati Bengals
- Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
- Clint Boling, OL, Cincinnati Bengals
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- Shawn Williams, S, Cincinnati Bengals
- Isaiah McKenzie, PR, Denver Broncos
- Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
- Abry Jones, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Justin Houston, LB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Todd Gurley, RB, L.A. Rams
- Reshad Jones, S, Miami Dolphins
- David Andrews, C, New England Patriots
- Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints
- Alec Ogletree, LB, New York Giants
- Jordan Jenkins, LB, New York Jets
- Ben Jones, C, Tennessee Titans
I could give more analysis, but do you really need a rationale as to why Todd Gurley is going to make the final cut in L.A.? Didn’t think so. These 18 former Bulldogs are safe. In theory, McKenzie might be a “bubble” player if his skill-set was isolated to wide receiver, but he’s electric as a return man. He returned a kick for 78 yards and a score in the Broncos’ first preseason game.
The second-most obvious collection of players likely to survive roster cuts are newly-acquired players. A portion of these folks are rookies but some were acquired through alternative means.
- Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots: Though he’s been banged up, Michel wasn’t drafted in the first round to be cut. He will make the roster and he will be a stud.
- Isaiah Wynn, OL, New England Patriots: He may be more of a project than Michel, but his spot on the roster is safe – even if he gets bounced around along the line and struggles to start as a rookie.
- Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns: Though low on the depth chart in Cleveland, it’s hard to imagine Chubb not breaking into the two-man rotation and eventually earning the starting spot. The depth chart thing is a formality at this point.
- Roquan Smith, LB, Chicago Bears: He’ll start Day 1 now that he’s signed a contract.
- Lorenzo Carter, LB, New York Giants: Carter is already in the two-deep hunt.
- Ramik Wilson, LB, L.A. Rams: After three seasons with the Chiefs organization, Wilson signed a 1-year deal with the Rams this off-season and has worked his way into a #2 LB spot.
- Tavarres King, WR, Minnesota Vikings: After suiting up for five teams in five seasons, King signed a sizable contract with the Vikings this offseason. He picked up some guaranteed money at signing ($90k is decent for a journeyman like King) and will earn $790k if he stays on the roster all year. If he stays healthy, he’ll make the cut. The Vikings clearly wanted him.
I would expect these seven players to survive cuts.
The Steady Role Players
These players aren’t new to their team and they’re not starters, but their dependability should keep them on a roster.
- Maurice Smith, S, Miami Dolphins: As an undrafted free agent who played just one year with Georgia (he was a graduate transfer from Bama), Smith contributed as a rookie last year. He backs up fellow-former Bulldog Reshad Jones and should have a #2 safety spot on lock.
- Chris Conley, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: Conley is a great locker room guy and still has tremendous upside if he stays healthy. He’s slated to make $1.8 million this year and that could work against him if a more cost-effective option becomes available and there may be lingering injury concerns, but it would be a surprise if he was looking for work at the end of final cuts.
- Corey Moore, S, Houston Texans: Another undrafted player from years past, Moore is a staple of the Texans’ two-deep and signed his first non-rookie contract this off-season.
- Cornelius Washington, DE, Detroit Lions: Though not a starter, Washington has historically played quite a bit. That shouldn’t change.
- John Jenkins, DT, Chicago Bears: Quietly productive, Jenkins has the size, strength and athleticism to remain in the league for a long time.
- Garrison Smith, DE, Atlanta Falcons: Smith has been all over the place over the course of a four-year career, but he’s a pro’s pro and OK with coming off the bench, playing DE or DT and bouncing between non-active/practice squad and active duty. I think his adaptability will keep him on the Falcons’ roster.
- Tyler Catalina, OL, Washington Redskins: Much to my surprise, Catalina caught on with the Redskins last year and stuck around for most of the season. He’s firmly claimed a spot on the two-deep and should make the roster again. Good on ya, Cat.
These seven players should be playing in the fall.
If I was a betting man, I’d place the 32 players above on an NFL roster. So who’s not making the cuts? I’ll touch on that tomorrow.
Before we get there though, I think two players are on the bubble.
- Reggie Davis, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Davis spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad in Atlanta but could get called up this year. That being said, his first preseason game wasn’t all that productive and the receiving unit is increasingly crowded.
- Javon Wims, WR, Chicago Bears: Wims will, at a minimum, make the Bears practice squad, but he’s making a strong push for a real spot on the roster thanks to a big Hall of Fame Game performance. I think he may open the year on the practice squad before being moved up.
That’s all I got/
As anyone who reads this site will likely know, Georgia and Notre Dame have played exactly once over the span of 100+ years of each institution fielding a football team. On this site and the DudeYouPodcast, I have many times encouraged Georgia fans to make the trip this September if you have the means.
Having been in 2006, Notre Dame is by no means the rowdiest place to watch a football game. Matter of fact, it feels quaint, almost as if the history makes it more of a church atmosphere than a fall Saturday to which we’re accustomed. (Notre Dame joke #1) It’s almost like they’re living among the ghosts of their past successes. Even so, its worth a trip to see Touchdown Jesus, and to see (Notre Dame joke #2) where Rudy was CLEARLY offsides. God, I hate the movie Rudy.
It got me thinking, “what stadium experiences do I need to have while I’m young enough to fully participate?”, and…I need to apply for a Southwest credit card. I’m also hoping we can crowdsource a list from you the reader, so comment with your top 10 and I’ll use my Excel skillz and figure out where the DudeYouNation intends to go.
First, where I’ve been (P5 only), ranked with hopes of not being clouded by any biases. I apologize for it being ACC-heavy:
- Clemson- everything about their gameday experience is just right. I’m growing tired of them being #1 at EVERYTHING these days.
- Georgia- been to too many good 3:30’s and night games to ignore how awesome Athens on a Saturday is. Behind Clemson due to a few too many sleepy games, and less ample tailgating.
- Virginia Tech- Enter Sandman is as awesome at noon as it is on a Thursday night.
- Auburn- Clemson without a lake (and my only experience is an Iron Bowl, so probably overrated).
- Notre Dame- like I said above, cool setting.
- South Carolina- Columbia is the seventh circle of hell, both in the town sense and the literal “I’m gonna die from heatstroke” sense. But fairground tailgating is always fun, and Space Odyssey is cool until your undefeated Georgia team is down 3 touchdowns in the first quarter.
- Alabama- probably low, but it has the NFL feel both in atmosphere, and drunk, grumbling fans complaining about a four touchdown lead.
- North Carolina- fun for a big game, dead otherwise. A 3:30 game in October, though, is about as pleasant an afternoon as you can ask for.
- N.C. State- has the fairgrounds tailgate that makes South Carolina fun, and they let you out of the stadium at halftime to…re-up.
- Virginia- has the UNC/Notre Dame quaintness to it.
- Wake Forest- really not that bad! It has the one-level grandstand that puts you more or less on top of the action, and tailgating is both easy to find, parking-wise, and largely unregulated.
- Georgia Tech- Bobby Dodd has rebuilt its reputation on soccer games.
- Duke- I’ve been to high school stadiums with more people, more atmosphere, and better restrooms.
So, what’s left? A whole hell of a lot.
- LSU: Death Valley at night may well end up having to be part of a dangerous bachelor party, some day.
- Oregon: apparently Autzen Stadium’s pretzel-like design keeps noise in. I’m not an architect, but I’m here for that.
- Texas: DKR is no longer (anywhere close to) the biggest destination in the state any more, but I’d rather tailgate in Austin than do whatever weird stuff they do before games in College Station. Come at me, Aggies.
- Colorado: If you’ve never been to Boulder, you won’t understand why this is on the list. If you have, Rocky Mountain backdrop for college football. Rice-Eccles at Utah gets a shoutout here too, but I don’t really want to go to Utah.
- Ohio State: Taking the Horseshoe as my obligatory B1G destination because, somehow, Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are less objectionable than Michigan and Penn State right now. I mean…
- Ole Miss: The Grove, which should somehow become more fun given the fact that the Black Bears will NOT be winning football games for awhile.
- UCLA/USC: Lumping them into one doesn’t seem quite right, but then again it does. Stadiums with a TON of history, beautiful LA backdrop, etc. etc.
- Wisconsin: I’m here for the drunkest fanbase in college football and “Jump Around” in the fourth quarter.
- Florida: Yup. The Swamp looks fun on TV due to its asymmetrical layout. Sometimes ya just gotta slum it.
- Arizona State: More off-the-beaten-path Pac-12ness, but this one has a backstory: I hiked the mountain overlooking Sun Devil Stadium, and it was pretty cool. Tempe is INSANE. This would be fun, especially if they were any good.
That’s my list (in no particular order). For this to work, I need yours. Comment or tweet @Chad_Floyd the top 10 you want to go to, and the top 5 you’ve already seen. I’ll tally up the winners for a follow-up for next week.
I haven’t filled out my bracket yet. Let’s walk you through my failure!
The 2016-17 college basketball season was characterized by an absurdly strong commitment by all teams to keep fans not knowing what the hell was going on. I saw the top 25 at some point this season headlined by Baylor, a team who I didn’t know (and still don’t think, FWIW) was good. Kansas, Villanova, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Duke also spent time at #1, and all five would be pretty good picks to win it all.
There were no Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis performances by freshmen, as the young guys largely (non-Lonzo Ball/Malik Monk division) underperformed compared to expectations. Instead, senior Frank Mason (Kansas), junior Josh Hart (Nova), and junior Justin Jackson (UNC) won conference player of the year awards and each led their teams to #1 seeds.
Basically, you can’t get this right. I know nothing, so here we go.
Favorites: Villanova and Duke, and given Duke’s performance last week could be viewed as interchangeable. If you’ve followed the blog for long, you know that brings me zero joy. As the defending champ, Villanova comes in with more experience, but Duke has amassed an insane amount of talent and finally sat repugnant asshole Grayson Allen in favor of athletic PG Frank Jackson.
Final Four possibilities: I submit #5 Virginia and #6 SMU. Virginia suffered a midseason lull, but almost won at Villanova in a weird late-season nonconference game. SMU is back from last year’s postseason ban, and damn near won the AAC title with what we thought would be a depleted roster.
#3 Baylor, as referenced above, I’m not buying. Florida is the 4, and they played well in the SEC. Take that for what it’s worth.
Potential crazy upsets: #8 Wisconsin over Villanova in round 2, as they’ll at least limit possessions and keep the game close. It’ll be aesthetic hell to watch if they can pull it off. I’ll give #7 South Carolina over Duke a slight nod as well since the game would be in Greenville, SC, where UNC also plays, which means a good chunk of the crowd will be heavily invested in cheering for Duke’s opposition. Finally, whomever wins the play-in between #11’s USC and Providence will have a puncher’s chance to beat SMU and go on a run.
Favorites: Gonzaga is the first mid-major since Wichita State (in 201…2? maybe?) to get a #1, and they actually promise to be a tough out. Wichita State ran into an 8-seeded Kentucky team that nearly won the whole damn thing. #2 Arizona lost to Gonzaga in the regular season, but was without two key players and just won the top-heavy Pac-12. #3 Florida State looks like an NBA team from a size and athleticism POV.
Final Four Possibilities: #4 West Virginia presses like crazy, #5 Notre Dame is good…this one’s tough. Special shout-out to St. Mary’s at the 7-seed as well, they’d be the nation’s top mid-major…had they not lost to Gonzaga three times. Hell, 11 seed Xavier started the season in the top 10-15 in major polls.
Potential Crazy Upsets: Either #7 St. Mary’s or #10 VCU could beat Arizona in Round 2. Same for #6 Maryland and #11 Xavier over Florida St. I’m gonna ride with #12 Princeton over Notre Dame as my 12/5 because both teams play such a slow tempo that it’ll come down to the final two minutes.
I know you’re looking at Vanderbilt/Northwestern’s winner (damn this is an academically-sound bracket, even with Florida St. and Arizona) as a possible Gonzaga-beater…but both teams are hella inadequate to do this.
S16: Gonzaga/WVU/Florida St./St. Mary’s (ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
E8: Gonzaga/Florida St.
Winner: Florida St., who serves as my annual ‘Final Four pick to lose on Day 1’.
***IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SPONSOR THIS WEBSITE FOR FOOTBALL SEASON 2017, I’LL LOCK THIS BRACKET IN AND LET YOU MOCK ME WHEN FLORIDA STATE LOSES TO FGCU.***
Favorites: Kansas is here. Louisville is big and again developed a sick combo guard in Shelton Mitchell.
Final Four possibilities: If I don’t go
rock chalk, there are a bunch of teams that could theoretically have potential. However, #3 Oregon just lost a key player, apparently. #4 Purdue was the best team in the B1G and didn’t win a game in their conference tourney. #5 Iowa State is hotter than most teams, and I didn’t know that until looking at the ‘info’ button on the brackets. #7 Michigan is riding high after the plane derailment/B1G title, and #9 Michigan St. is always a tough out in March because Tom Izzo.
This bracket has nobody I’m actually that confident in.
Potential Crazy Upsets: I mean, pick one. I’ve got my eye on Oregon and Iowa State to possibly both get KO’d in the first round. Literally anything besides Kansas vs. play-in is on the table.
S16: Kansas, Purdue, Rhode Island, Louisville
E8: Purdue, Louisville
Favorites: Uhhh…Carolina, Kentucky, and UCLA are interchangeable as 1/2/3, with Carolina having the advantage of having to play one of them, at most. Butler is the fundamentally sound gym rat squad of the tournament who could give the three aforementioned up-tempo teams fits.
Final Four possibilities: Gonna be a tough road to hoe, but #6 Cincinnati and #10 Wichita State both feel criminally underseeded.
Potential Crazy Upsets: The 12/5’s strike again. Minnesota seems pretty nondescript and Middle Tennessee went 30-4. #13 Winthrop has some dude scoring 23 points a game, and guard play wins in March. Anyone knocking off the top 3 would register as well, and I think Cincinnati over UCLA and Wichita over Kentucky in round 2 should both at least merit consideration.
S16: UNC, Middle Tennessee, Cincinnati, Kentucky
E8: UNC, Kentucky
Winner: Kentucky (let’s…let’s not talk about it.)
Villanova vs. Florida St., Kentucky vs. Louisville: Seriously, Florida State is such a weak pick here. Villanova picks them apart and wins by 17. Hey, the nation’s (second) best rivalry! I think its a Kentucky run year.
Shit. Go SEC, I guess.