Category Archives: SEC
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 the NFL preseason heads into its second week of games, here’s a current break down of Georgia Bulldogs on NFL rosters.
|Greg Pyke||Arizona Cardinals||1||OL||4th String|
|Garrison Smith||Atlanta Falcons||5||DL||3rd String|
|David Marvin||Atlanta Falcons||1||K||2nd String|
|Reggie Davis||Atlanta Falcons||1||WR||3rd String|
|Thomas Davis||Carolina Panthers||14||LN||Starter|
|Sterling Bailey||Carolina Panthers||1||DE||5th String|
|Javon Wims||Chicago Bears||R||WR||3rd String|
|Roquan Smith||Chicago Bears||R||LB||2nd String|
|John Jenkins||Chicago Bears||6||DT||2nd String|
|Marlon Brown||Chicago Bears||5||WR||4th String|
|Leonard Floyd||Chicago Bears||3||LB||Starter|
|Geno Atkins||Cincinnati Bengals||9||DT||Starter|
|Clint Boling||Cincinnati Bengals||8||OL||Starter|
|A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||8||WR||Starter|
|Cordy Glenn||Cincinnati Bengals||7||OT||Starters|
|Shawn Williams||Cincinnati Bengals||6||S||Starter|
|Nick Chubb||Cleveland Browns||R||RB||3rd String|
|Orson Charles||Cleveland Browns||3||TE||5th String|
|Isaiah McKenzie||Denver Brondocs||1||PR||Starter|
|Matthew Stafford||Detroit Lions||10||QB||Starter|
|Cornelius Washington||Detroit Lions||6||DE||2nd String|
|Toby Johnson||Detroit Lions||1||DT||3rd String|
|Davin Bellamy||Houston Texans||R||LB||4th String|
|Corey Moore||Houston Texans||3||S||2nd String|
|Abry Jones||Jacksonville Jaguars||6||NT||Starter|
|Justin Houston||Kansas City Chiefs||8||LB||Starter|
|Chris Conley||Kansas City Chiefs||4||WR||2nd String|
|Ramik Wilson||L.A. Rams||4||LB||2nd String|
|Todd Gurley||L.A. Rams||4||RB||Starter|
|Reshad Jones||Miami Dolphins||9||S||Starter|
|Maurice Smith||Miami Dolphins||2||S||2nd String|
|Tavarres King||Minnesota Vikings||4||WR||4th String|
|John Atkins||New England Patriots||R||DT||4th String|
|Sony Michel||New England Patriots||R||RB||4th String|
|Isaiah Wynn||New England Patriots||R||OL||4th String|
|David Andrews||New England Patriots||4||C||Starter|
|Benjamin Watson||New Orleans Saints||15||TE||Starter|
|Lorenzo Carter||New York Giants||R||LB||2nd String|
|Alec Ogletree||New York Giants||6||LB||Starter|
|Jordan Jenkins||New York Jets||1||LB||Starter|
|Quincy Mauger||Oakland Raiders||R||S||5th String|
|Ben Jones||Tennessee Titans||7||C||Starters|
|Tyler Catalina||Washington Redskins||2||OL||2nd String|
I’ll come back with some roster analysis later this week.
Note: Data current as of August 14, 2018. Depth Chart Data courtesy of official team websites where applicable.
That’s all I got/
Football and Finance: How Does Compound Interest Really Work? Can Nick Chubb and His Cleveland Browns Teammates Really Get 10% Interest at a Bank?
Dude’s note: My day job, according to my 3-year old daughter is “Talking about money.” So here’s some of that.
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, had some great financial advice on last week’s episode of Hard Knocks. Nassib advised his teammates on the defensive side of the ball to take their money, put it in a bank and let it collect 10% a year. But is that realistic?
If Nassib is right in his methodology and calculations, these guys are clearly set for life. Former Georgia running back Nick Chubb (for example) could just take $1 million of his $3.449 million signing bonus and let it sit in a bank. In 42 years he’ll have $64 million. Or will he?
Alas, it’s a litttttttle bit trickier than that. Nonetheless, I applaud Nassib for his commitment to saving. But that’s only half the battle. I guess you don’t learn that kind of stuff at lowly Big 10 academic institutions like Penn State.
That’s all I got/
There’s no way Georgia is going to lose to Alabama. Period.
I write a column like this just about every week, but I’m pretty much always right. If you don’t believe me, check out the archives or listen to the Podcast in which I’m undefeated in predicting Georgia games this year (including the loss to Auburn).
But this post is a little bit different. Not because Alabama is Alabama (though Bama is Bama) and not because the Georgia Bulldogs are new to this position. This post is different because I’m not relying on hot takes, hatred or even math to get my point across. This post is about common sense.
Georgia is going to beat Alabama, and my reasoning comes down to plain, simple, abundantly-clear truths.
The Georgia Bulldogs will not lose to the Alabama Crimson Tide, because you don’t get beat up by your little brother and Bama is UGA’s little brother.
Let’s look at the facts.
Nick Saban can’t win the big one without Kirby Smart.
Think I’m kidding? Ask yourself why Alabama lost the National Championship Game last year. It certainly wasn’t because of the offense. It wasn’t because Steve Sarkisian was placed in a
booze-booze lose-lose situation on short notice. No, the unceremonious early dismissal of Lane Kiffin, one of the most brilliant minds and one of the most revered people in all of sports, was nothing more than a distraction by Nick Saban. Admittedly, it was a flawlessly executed distraction, but it was nothing more than a distraction nonetheless. You see, by convincing the mainstream media and fans alike to wonder, “What if Lane Kiffin wasn’t already on his way to FAU?” Saban was able to disguise the fact that Alabama couldn’t stop Clemson’s offense—not without Kirby Smart.
The reality is this: Nick Saban hasn’t stopped an opposing offense in a big game since Kirby Smart left. Seriously, when was the last time a Saban-coached team stopped anybody in a national championship game without Kirby Smart? I’ll give you the answer. It was back in 2003. And want to know a secret? Saban wasn’t coaching Alabama in 2003.
The reality is that Alabama has never won an undisputed National Championship without Kirby Smart—at least not during the BCS or Playoff eras. And that’s staggering because Alabama wins “national championships” even when they don’t win National Championships. Not following? Sit tight.
Alabama football is a fraudulent excuse for a national power.
Alabama claims 16 National Championships. The NCAA says Alabama has won 14. The Associated Press gives Alabama credit for 10. What gives?
Well, here’s an example. In 1973 Notre Dame won the AP, FWAA and NFF National Championships with a perfect 11-0 record. The Fighting Irish handed Alabama its lone loss that season in the Sugar Bowl. But sure…Alabama won that national championship…according to Alabama.
That’s not an isolated incident. It’s not even the most ridiculously fake national title Bama has “won.” In 1941, Alabama was 9-2 and finished ranked 20th in the AP Poll and 3rd in the Southeastern Conference. The undefeated Minnesota Gophers claimed the AP and Consensus title, but Alabama says they won it. Alabama lost to Vanderbilt that year.
There are half a dozen questionable Alabama “national championships,” because Alabama was the original inventor of Fake News. Alabama created the Participation Trophy Generation. Bear Bryant was the very first millennial, wandering around his parents’ basement begging for trophies and believing his own alternate realities.
Alabama paved the way for the ridiculousness we’re seeing at UCF.
But Alabama had to do all that in order to stay relevant. Why? Well, because Alabama kind of sucks.
Alabama kind of sucks.
A class action suit should be filed against the State of Alabama for false advertising and deceptive marketing. “Alabama the Beautiful” my ass. You ever been there? “Alabama is beautiful” is the greatest lie the devil ever told.
Truthfully, there are very few things the state does well other than advance negative southern stereotypes, but this post isn’t about personal attacks. It’s about how desperately people want out of Alabama’s football program.
Want to know why Georgia fired Mark Richt 25 months ago? Ultimately, because working for the University of Alabama is such a miserable experience.
- Kirby Smart hated doing all of Nick Saban’s work for him and getting no credit so he wanted out.
- He wanted out so badly that he considered taking a job working for the University of South Carolina. Seriously. He wanted to work at South Carolina more than he wanted to work at Alabama.
- Georgia wanted to rescue Kirby Smart, an alumnus, from the clutches of Alabama and a life in Columbia, South Carolina.
- Georgia graciously fired a longstanding, respected, winning coach (Mark Richt) in order to take in a would-be orphan (Kirby Smart).
The narrative that Georgia hired Kirby Smart in order to build Alabama-lite is the hottest take in the history of hot takes. It’s also flat-out wrong. Georgia didn’t fire Mark Richt (a coach who went 145-51 from 2001-2015) so that the program could be more like Alabama (which went 127-50 over the same time period given vacated wins and NCAA adjustments for cheating).
No, Georgia hired Kirby Smart because even the prodigal son must eventually come home to a fattened calf. You see, everyone wants out of Alabama.
Alabama is Georgia’s little brother.
In addition to Kirby Smart, a number of other assistants (guys like Mel Tucker and Glenn Schumann) came to Georgia from Alabama. They didn’t come to create another Alabama. They didn’t come to imitate Saban’s staff. That’s a stupid, false narrative. That’s like saying Jake Fromm came to Georgia because he wanted to create another Houston County High School or saying Justin Fields signed with the Bulldogs because he wanted to replicate Harrison High School in Athens.
That’s broken logic.
Kirby and the handful of hand-plucked assistants left Alabama for Georgia because they graduated. They were called up. They were ready for The Show. They were tired of the minor leagues. They were ready to compete at the top level possible.
That’s not a slight towards Alabama; it’s just a part of life. Similarly, it’s not an attack on Georgia when elite an prospect (like, say, Matthew Stafford) leaves the University to become the NFL’s top overall pick; it’s just the logical progression. Alabama fans won’t be able to relate to that example unless they were alive in 1948 when the last Bama player was selected first over all in the draft, but you get the idea.
At some point you leave your playful beginnings behind and get serious. That’s what Smart et. al. did when they came to Georgia.
And in fairness, they didn’t do this on their own. A slew of players, most notably Jake Fromm, also followed suit. Fromm was, after all, a longtime Alabama commit before he realized that he too might have a chance at playing for the University of Georgia. More recently, Georgia signed 12 4-star recruits (two more than Alabama) and six times as many 5-star recruits as the Crimson Tide during college football’s inaugural Early Signing Day.
Georgia is providing more opportunities than ever for football players, coaches and fans to transcend above and beyond Alabama football. Big brother is open for business, and suddenly little brother sulking in the corner.
Georgia is better at football than Alabama.
Ultimately, Georgia is the better football team in this game. This feels like something of a moot point given everything above, but the Bulldogs are better than the Crimson Tide.
Georgia has a better record (13-1) than Alabama (12-1), more accolades (ever heard of an SEC Championship, Bama?) and better head-to-head performances.
- Auburn: Alabama went 0-1 against Auburn this season with a 26-14 loss to the Tigers. Georgia went 1-1 against Auburn, most recently beating the Tigers 28-7 in the SEC Championship Game. Advantage: Georgia
- Mississippi State: Both Georgia and Alabama defeated Mississippi State. Georgia won 31-3 and Alabama won 31-24. Advantage: Georgia
- Tennessee: Both Georgia and Alabama defeated Tennessee as well. Georgia won by 41 points, Alabama won by 38. Advantage: Georgia.
- Vanderbilt: Both Georgia and Alabama defeated Vanderbilt. Alabama won by a score of 59-0 and Georgia won 45-14. Advantage: Alabama.
The Bulldogs have out-performed Alabama against three of four common opponents.
Even on an individual level, Georgia is the better team.
- Jake Fromm has thrown for more yards than Jalen Hurts while also completing a higher percentage of passes, gaining more yards per attempt and tossing 35% more touchdowns.
- Georgia has two different thousand-yard rushers (Nick Chubb and Sony Michel) and a third back with more than 600 rushing yards (D’Andre Swift). Alabama has no thousand-yard rushers and only two players (Hurts and Damien Harris) who have run for more than 600 yards.
- The Bulldogs have three receivers with more than 300 receiving yards (Javon Wims, Terry Godwin and Mecole Hardman) while the Crimson Tide has one (Calvin Ridley).
- Georgia’s leading tackler (Roquan Smith) has more tackles than Bama’s leader in tackles (Ronnie Harrison).
- Georgia’s D’Andre Walker has more tackles for loss (13.5) than Alabama’s leader in the category (Rashaan Evans).
- Dominick Sanders has more interceptions for Georgia than any player has for Alabama.
- Three Bulldogs (Lorenzo Carter, J.R. Reed and Roquan Smith) have individually recovered more fumble recoveries than any single Alabama player.
- Cameron Nizialek is a better punter than Alabama’s JK Scott in terms of yards per punt, fair catch percentage, percentage inside the 20 and percentage of punts greater than 50 yards. He’s also not been blocked this year (unlike Scott).
- Rodrigo Blankenship wins the kicking battle for Georgia too. He’s got a higher field goal percentage, longer season-long make and has made more kicks from 40+ yards than Alabama’s Andy Pappanastos.
- As measured by average return distance, Mecole Hardman is a better kick and punt returner than anyone Alabama has.
Ultimately, however, this game isn’t about wins and losses—at least not for Alabama and Georgia. For Alabama this a truly unique opportunity to prove once and for all that the program is tall enough to enjoy this ride.
For Georgia, this game offers a rare opportunity to beat the living hell out of its little brother.
Mom and dad are out of the house and he’s been driving you nuts all week, Kirby. Go ahead. Finish him. Pile drive that little guy right through the coffee table. You know you want to. You know you can. You know you should. Don’t let little brother disrespect you again.
That’s all I got/