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2023 Offense By the Numbers


Alec Smith
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2023 Offense By the Numbers

Alec Smith

            Amidst our Georgia Bulldogs winning a second consecutive National Championship, off the field issues, transfer portal, coaching carousel, NFL Draft, and various other distractions, it is challenging to set your sights towards next season. Let’s cut through the fog and check out some of the players coming back for the Dawgs in 2023. In this article, I will break down returning production and Pro Football Focus grades for some of the returning players on the offensive side of the ball that you will see wearing red and black this fall.

            For added context, Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades a player on individual plays from a scale of -2 to +2, going in increments of .5. All the plays are then compiled into an overall grade for the game ranging from 0-100, with 100 being the highest achievable score.

For snaps played, passing and rushing snaps may not equal total snaps played. For example, Brock Vandagriff played 11 total snaps in the 2022 season but only attempted 2 passes and rushed the ball 3 times, thus meaning the remainder of his snaps could have been handoffs, kneel downs, etc.

            We will start with the quarterbacks. Included below are numbers exclusively from the 2022 season for returning players.

Name

Overall Grade

Passing Grade

Rushing Grade

Total Snaps

Passing Snaps

Rushing Snaps

Carson Beck

74.2

87.0

40.4

89

39

12

Brock Vandagriff

67.1

70.7

58.6

11

2

3

 

             Sample size is extremely important, especially when discussing PFF grades. Making conclusive judgements based off Beck’s and Vandagriff’s numbers is foolhardy considering how much and in what scenarios they played during last season. Consider some of these numbers as judging a baseball player’s batting average after 10 at bats. Some players could be batting .750, some could have a .100 average; neither number being indicative of how their entire season will unfold. As anyone worth their salt can point out, Georgia enters the 2023 season with a lack of experience at the quarterback position; however, Carson Beck posted a very promising passing grade in his limited capacity in 2022. Beck’s stats from 2022 include 26 completions on 35 attempts for 310 yards, a completion percentage of 74.3%, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 4-0.

Running Backs

Name

Overall Grade

Run Grade

Receiving Grade

Pass Block Grade

Run Block Grade

Run Snaps

Receiving Snaps

Pass Block Snaps

Run Block Snaps

Kendall Milton

85.8

87.0

59.9

63.9

54.6

88

64

25

14

Daijun Edwards

79.6

82.7

58.1

32.5

57.6

142

125

23

18

Branson Robinson

78.1

77.3

54.7

49.7

58.8

69

23

9

12

Sevaughn Clark

75.5

73.0

65.7

72.6

59.9

7

1

1

4

Cash Jones

65.0

75.2

49.0

20.6

60.2

2

9

1

7

 

            Georgia returns significant production at the running back position, mostly coming from the trio of Kendall Milton, Daijun Edwards, and Branson Robinson. Since the arrival of Kirby Smart in Athens, the Dawgs have adopted a “running back by committee” philosophy. The last RB to have over 1,000 yards under Coach Smart was D’Andre Swift in 2019 with 1,218 yards. The last RB to have over 200 carries in a season was Nick Chubb with 223 touches in 2017. This trend will likely continue in 2023 with Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo using Georgia’s entire stable of runners. Despite the departure of feature back, Kenny McIntosh, expect no apparent drop off in tailback production from the 2023 ball carriers.

Wide Receivers

Name

Overall Grade

Receiving Grade

Run Block Grade

Total Snaps

Receiving Snaps

Run Block Snaps

Ladd McConkey

77.4

74.5

73.4

626

365

253

Arian Smith

69.9

69.9

72.5

112

50

62

Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint

67.2

64.8

74.7

584

270

314

Dillon Bell

59.3

57.4

70.4

411

206

205

Cole Speer

76.1

72.6

62.0

11

2

9

Jackson Meeks

67.0

66.9

61.0

129

41

88

Mekhi Mews

60.2

60.1

60.2

12

3

9

CJ Smith

59.3

59.7

60.0

5

1

4

**Dominic Lovett

83.8

85.5

58.5

400

292

103

**RaRa Thomas

65.5

65.7

57.4

457

330

127

** Denotes incoming transfer

            The Bulldogs will showcase 5 WR’s that played 400 snaps or more last year, which will be crucial to an inexperienced QB such as Carson Beck. Incoming transfer Dominic Lovett brought in 56 balls last year for Missouri that totaled to 846 yards and 3 TD’s, including a stat line of 6 catches for 84 yards against Georgia in 2022. Mississippi State product RaRa Thomas also had a productive 2022 season, posting 44 catches for 626 yards and 7 touchdowns.

            Something that stands out to me is how Kirby and company have instilled a solid run blocking work ethic in any WR that comes through Athens. Georgia loses its best run blocking receiver in Kearis Jackson to the NFL but returns 4 players with a 70+ run blocking grade. It should be noted that Lovett and Thomas come from different offensive schemes where high level blocking is not demanded of them, considering they both have <60 run blocking grades, and each had less than 150 run blocking snaps in 2022. Wide Receiver Coach Bryan McClendon has done an excellent job of turning primary pass catching receivers into willing and able blockers, and I do not believe that will change with Lovett or Thomas.

Offensive Line

Name

Overall Grade

Pass Block Grade

Run Block Grade

Total Snaps

Pass Block Snaps

Run Block Snaps

Sedrick Van Pran

69.0

72.1

68.5

972

496

476

Warren Ericson

61.0

80.3

56.1

166

66

100

Dylan Fairchild

80.3

71.7

79.6

18

1

17

Tate Ratledge

69.1

87.1

63.2

844

448

396

Micah Morris

68.8

74.1

67.3

17

1

16

Xavier Truss

68.4

62.6

68.9

725

393

332

Jared Wilson

64.4

40.0

66.6

67

25

42

Chris Brown

58.6

-

58.1

8

-

8

Chad Lindberg

84.4

72.8

82.3

24

1

23

Austin Blaske

78.2

74.3

74.6

82

23

59

Amarius Mims

77.5

79.9

73.2

385

196

189

 

            Georgia loses its bookends in Broderick Jones and Warren McClendon being selected in the NFL draft but maintains a significant amount of experience elsewhere on the line. Returning starters Sedrick Van Pran, Xavier Truss, and Tate Ratledge all played over 700 snaps in 2022, locking down the interior. Returning contributor Amarius Mims and sophomore Earnest Greene (no PFF data available) will be the likely candidates to replace Jones and McClendon at the tackle positions.

            This Georgia offensive line is INSANELY talented and is already being regarded as the best o-line unit going into the 2023 season. The 2022 Bulldog line ranked 4th in the country with a sack allowed rate of 1.4% and gave up only 9 sacks in 15 games. Additionally, Georgia’s line paved the way for the Bulldogs to finish 5th in the country in yards per rush at 5.53, along with the Dawgs finishing at 5th in total offense. The fans can expect a very similar, if not better performance from the 2023 squad.

Tight Ends

Name

Overall Grade

Receiving Grade

Pass Block Grade

Run Block Grade

Total Snaps

Receiving Snaps

Pass Block Snaps

Run Block Snaps

Brock Bowers

90.0

90.0

76.9

73.8

851

412

21

409

Oscar Delp

58.6

60.4

74.2

56.6

149

58

11

80

 

            Brock Bowers. That’s all there is to say. Losing Darnell Washington to the NFL will certainly mean that ground will need to be made up in the blocking game, but Georgia returns one of the best playmakers in college football in Mr. Bowers. Oscar Delp showed flashes of what his capabilities are in 2022 but will need some improvement in his blocking for him to be solidified as the second TE on the field. Todd Hartley, Georgia TE Coach, reeled in 4* Pearce Spurlin and 4* Lawson Luckie in the 2023 recruiting cycle to add to the already talented room. The collection of Bowers, Delp, Luckie, and Spurlin are a dream for Mike Bobo, and I have no reservations about seeing all four catch balls this season.

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