Weiszer sums up where Georgia will have to go to make up for the lost production from season-ending injuries to the receivers who now rank second and third on the team in receptions. Basically, there aren’t any surprises. The tight ends and wideouts like Conley and Wooten will need to contribute.
But we can also take solace in some of the data Bill Connelly has compiled in this post about receiver ratings. The best news there is that Georgia’s top two receivers, Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell, are having more efficient seasons than they did in 2011. In King’s case, there’s significant improvement in catch rate, from 52.3% to 64.3%. When you’re the guy who gets the most balls thrown his way, that’s a big deal. Mitchell, who led the team in catch rate last year, has actually improved his rate to an astounding 78.8%. (That’s tops among SEC wide receivers with at least 20 catches.)
Also good news is that the tight ends are more efficient at catching the ball than Orson was last season and Gurley’s catch rate exceeds Crowell’s.
Wooten, with a 52.2% catch rate, is the guy who needs to step it up.
Don’t get me wrong. Bennett and Brown will be missed. But the Dawgs have options. This really is one area of the team where they’ve developed some legitimate depth.