March 25, 2021
BY DAN MATHEWS
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – Georgia losing wide receiver Georgia Pickens to an ACL injury hurts a lot. I’m not going to sugar coat it.
6 foot 3, 200 pound former five-star prospects aren’t just readily available to teams. But, Georgia does have options.
Pickens did have us all excited about the upcoming season, when you factor in his finish to the 2020 season and the return of quarterback JT Daniels. At the very least, we’ll have to wait to see this on-field connection resume.
Let me be clear, the two created some excitement in 2020. Pickens pulled in 23 catches for 373 yards and four touchdowns in four games with Daniels.
Let’s look at the positives that can come from this tough situation for Pickens and the Bulldogs offense. They have numbers, in terms of depth. This is why you sign top tier players in your recruiting classes.
Luckily for the Dawgs, there are plenty of options on the roster. The obvious first player you look at is sophomore Jermaine Burton. Who wants to see a Southern California connection between he and Daniels. Can I interest you with 17 catches for 274 yards and two touchdowns during four games with the UGA QB?
Kearis Jackson is someone else who could stand to benefit with more chances to make plays in the passing game. He’s pulled nine catches for 118 yards and one touchdown with Daniels. Proven experience is a great commodity.
Is this finally the year we actually see the tight end involved in the passing game? Aren’t we tired of hearing this brought up in the offseason? I know I am. Maybe Darnell Washington breaks that trend of hype not being met with production on the field.
Speedster Arian Smith got people excited last year in the only four games on-field. It only included two catches. But, one went to a 31 yard touchdown against South Carolina. The other one, for 55 yards in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Cincinnati.
There have been years in the past, where this news would have been devastating to this offense. 2021 isn’t that year.
Plus, this happened in the spring. You’re still building your roster for the season and opportunities are still up for grabs on the practice field.
If this happened over the summer or in fall camp? You’d be in a totally different spot, because time wouldn’t be on your side to work in potential replacements.
Also, the no other structural damage in the knee is a good thing. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve got to believe that would lead to a recovery time that is shorter, rather than longer. You also have to find it encouraging to hear Pickens is already going through pre-operation rehab. Am I saying he’ll have the Adrian Peterson six month recovery time? Only time will tell.
On days like this, I think back to a conference call we had with Kirby Smart in the first few days he was on the job. He talked about the importance of building depth on this roster. This news is a perfect example of how important that is in order to compete for titles.
Keep the faith Georgia fans… They can still make great things happen on offense in 2021.
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