February means it’s not too early to talk depth chart.

Over at Dawgs247, Jake Rowe takes a stab at putting together a post-signing day offensive depth chart for 2017.  It’s certainly an entertaining read.  It’s no surprise to see a lot of young faces on that side of the ball filling up the two deep.

The two most interesting questions Rowe’s projection raise are (1) will the staff redshirt Jake Fromm? and (2) who is Pittman going to pick to start at right tackle?

I am not one of those who thinks Fromm has a serious chance of unseating Jacob Eason (Heisman Trophy candidate!)  as the starter.  You just went through [euphemism alert!] a throwaway season partly because you tossed a true freshman quarterback to the SEC wolves.  Why would you want to conduct that experiment all over again?

That being said, you would think the optimum approach with Fromm would be to give him a redshirt, which would create another year’s worth of separation between him and Eason while also giving him a full season to get acclimated to the college game.  Redshirt freshmen quarterbacks have done better in their first seasons at Georgia than have true freshmen at the position.

The question is whether the staff will have the luxury of giving Fromm the time to do so.  It’s pretty clear at this point that nobody thinks Brice Ramsey is an answer as the backup.  (For that matter, it’s not exactly clear what Ramsey, who will graduate this spring, intends to do about his future at Georgia.)  It’ll be an interesting development to watch.

So will the fight at right tackle.  Notice that Rowe has six names listed at the position.  Four of those names are freshmen.  Given that one of those names is D’Marcus Hayes, who is more likely to start at left tackle, you would think the odds are pretty good that Pittman may be doing something we haven’t seen in a while, which is turning over a starting tackle slot to a freshman.  Can any of the newbies handle the responsibility?

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41 Comments

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41 responses to “February means it’s not too early to talk depth chart.

  1. Fromm will play. Wilson for right tackle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TXBaller

    Just returned from Vegas. Dawgs only team to move odds in first three weeks at MGM Resorts Intl Race & Sports dropping from 35-1 to 25-1 to win the 2018 college football playoff championship. Somebody thought UGA was of good value…dropping some big $$….and dropping the odds.

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  3. Otis Day

    Hayes will be the LT for the next 2 years

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    • I just wasn’t that impressed with his film and neither were a lot of others. He plays soft. Seems athletic enough in pass pro but I don’t see him dominating on run plays.

      Thomas will be our starting LT by end of next year.

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  4. The best thing for the program is for Fromm to redshirt and create space between Eason and him. If he plays and plays more than a series a game or in mop-up, it’s going to be a long season. Some of the young guys are going to have to play on the line of scrimmage.

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    • gastr1

      But Smart keeps talking about competition between players. Does Eason really feel that competition if Fromm is redshirted? Plus, who seriously would be Eason’s backup?

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      • Russ

        While I want Fromm to RS and create a nice progression of top flight QB talent, I get your concerns. If Ramsey leaves after graduating, we’ll be in a tight spot.

        And what’s the story on Ben Cleveland? He was big news when we recruited him, yet didn’t crack the line up last season and he’s slated as third string at either guard.

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        • Otto

          If Ramsey stays the best hope is that Eason doesn’t get injured and Fromm gets a redshirt. I don’t get the hope some have of Fromm coming in and taking the job from Eason both QB come ouf highschool scheme that ran out of shotgun and it would restart a QB learning his foot work to play under center.

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        • Ditto n Ben Cleveland. What’s up?

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          • Jim

            What are the coaches doing with BIG Ben Cleveland????

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          • Starbreaker

            Word on the street (seen this both on some random threads on message boards and also had confirmed by the ALWAYS reputable “a guy I know who knows a guy inside the program”, so take with grain of salt!) is that he will never see the field. Something about hip mobility that really limits him. How this escaped recruiting analysts and coaches is beyond me (and leaves me cautiously optimistic that it’s bogus). Don’t kill me, I have no first hand knowledge so putting the biggest disclaimer on this, but I’ve heard it a few places already so sharing. Anyone else heard this?

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      • I said it would be best if he redshirted. I would like Eason to take the job and own it this spring. If he doesn’t, then let the competition begin, and also start the clock until we start to hear phrases like “throwaway season” and “hot seat” in 2017. If he doesn’t redshirt, I would rather not see him in games until we’re up by 30 as Eason’s backup.

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  5. Macallanlover

    It would be optimum for UGA to be able to redshirt Jake Fromm, but that requires Eason to make strides to become a QB capable of above average performance. That would be a real plus for UGA so let’s hope we see that in the Spring and Summer, but it is far from a given. If not, be glad we have a quality option behind him this spring, and count on him closing the gap enough to give Smart a choice….one he didn’t really have last season. I would say Fromm is a long shot to start the season but a “reasonable” option to see the field and perhaps win the position (reasonable being defined as perhaps 30% as Eason will certainly win ties in this situation). The best thing for all Dawg fans, regardless of who you may favor, is we enter 2017 in much better shape at the QB position than we entered 2016.

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    • DawgPhan

      Do we enter the 2017 in better shape than the 2016?

      I dont think that I could agree with that.

      Entering 2016 we had a senior veteran QB who was 10-2 the previous season and a hot shot 5 star kid coming in.

      Entering 2017 we have return 7-5 QB who was the 9th best freshman QB and a hot shot 4 star QB. Both seasons had a back up punter on the depth chart @ QB.

      Not sure that 2017 looks better than 2016.

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      • Macallanlover

        I can understand your position, it is certainly subjective so we are both just giving an opinion. I feel we are better because we have a returning QB with a better skill set than Lambert possessed, and I feel Fromm is at least even, I think ahead, of where Eason was last Spring. Fromm was also a 5 star with some services,, btw. You feel differently about the combo last year versus this one, who knows. I hope I am right because we need better QB play regardless of which one provides it.

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  6. Bright Idea

    Surely a decision on Fromm will be made by the coaches based on performance by he and Eason, nothing else. Georgia is not good enough to enjoy the luxury of redshirting any player if he can help win a game. With that said I can see a QB controversy brewing upon Eason’s first incompletion.

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    • Macallanlover

      Agree, it looks like KS is a “compete every day” if you want playing time. Not that he is blind to the need for red shirting and class separation, but red shirting isn’t a good option when you have unmet needs on the field and a chance to be better on the sideline. With top talent, red shirts are not the option they were a decade ago. Find a horse, train him, and then let him run. UGA needs performance and results on the field in 2017, not delaying it into the future.

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  7. It is amazing how Eason is Rorschach test for UGA fans. As a result, opinions on Fromm his potential role in 2017 are also quite varied. Let’s state what I believe we can say we “know and learned” about him from watching him play this season and reading comments by his coaches.

    Eason is the following:

    1)Physically gifted with size and arm strength that place him at the highest percentile of QBs on both measures.
    2)Courageous enough to remain in the pocket even if it means getting hit after the throw and tough enough to get back up after it happens.
    3)Surprisingly capable of running out of a broken pocket
    4)Instinctual at making plays when the pocket breaks down and he can can extend the play.
    5)Not consistently accurate at this stage of his career on any types of throws. Many of his completions were not placed in the best spot, but his WRs made good catches. On the other hand, he probably suffered from an inordinate amount of drops, particularly in key situations.
    6)Reasonably careful at avoiding throws which have a higher risk of interception
    7)Less experienced at progressing through his reads quickly and decisively, which often leads to missed opportunities OR timing issues with his WRs.
    8)still learning the verbiage and volume of the playbook, which manifests itself in the speed in which we break the huddle as well as his ability to redirect skill players and blocking schemes based upon presnap reads.
    9) in follow up to #5 above (and I may be pushing the circles of my incompetence here…), his footwork and mechanics are said to need significant improvement to fix his accuracy issues.
    10)by all accounts, seems liked and respected by his teammates. More broadly, he seems to be relatively unemotional about his mistakes.
    11)not always accurate in “what he sees” vs. “what the defense is doing”…as evidenced by the sideline reporters comments on one exchange between Eason and Chaney (before he went up to the booth).
    12)a QB who was impacted by the inconsistencies of his OL and WRs such that the game planning and play calling reflected those limitations (as well as his own limitation) the entire season.

    I am sure that I am missing a few, but that is where he was as of the TCU game. So what does that mean? I don’t know for sure what the outcome of his career will look like at UGA.

    Certainly, we witnessed Stafford’s development as an example of the cadence of a QB’s development who had similar attributes to Eason. That said, it is only one data point.

    By all accounts, Fromm is an intense student of his position and is regarded as an intelligent person and diligent student outside of football. thus, he is almost certain to “learn our offense” faster than Eason did. I would also imagine that he is a more accurate passer than Eason, as that is said to be one of his best qualities. If one agrees with my assessment of Eason and Fromm, it is possible to conclude that Fromm’s presence could create a bit more visibility of Eason’s perceived (and real) flaws. What we don’t know is how Eason will react to it. I have no idea when or if Fromm “passes” Eason mentally and what happens if he does.

    Ultimately, the one thing we can all hope for as Dawg fans is that Eason and the coaching staff figure out a way to accelerate his development as a QB. Eason is either going to address his weaknesses or risk losing his grip on the starting job if Fromm proves to be a capable QB. Whether that leads to controversy or who a redshirt for Fromm or not….who knows? I imagine the coaching staff would like to create separation, which would enable Fromm to play 3 years if Jacob left after 3. That said, I also imagine they are going to do what gives us the best chance to win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ken Dorfman

      Hey verbose pontificator mdcgtp, you totally whiffed on your dissertation and forgot who has the better hair for a qb

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  8. 69Dawg

    Well it would appear we have liftoff of this years QB controversy. If Ramsey bolts then the coaches have no choice and Fromm plays in a backup role. Kirby knows he used up a lot of his goodwill losing to Vandy and Tech so I think another throwaway season would be a disaster for him. You can learn to be accurate but you can’t learn to be 6′ 6″.

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  9. DawgPhan

    Surprised at the lack of youth on that projected OL depth chart. Makes me concerned about leaning on guys who couldnt beat out the guys from this past year.

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  10. Got Cowdog

    Well said, mcgtp.
    Fromm redshirts. Eason starts behind a young but talented OLine. The PWO QB we heard about the other day is back up if Ramsey leaves.
    I’m all for QB seperation. I am not cool with a 5th year senior career backup running the show, (albeit they were all DGD’s) then a true freshman thrown to the wolves for OTJT. That’s 2 seasons of inadequate QB play and likely one of the reasons the previous staff appeared to waste a lot of talent.

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  11. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    Should Ramsey leave, they will likely still try to redshirt Fromm. We’ve seen it before. He is listed as the back up. He is officially next man up. He practices that way all season.

    Eason takes every snap and Fromm de jure and de facto redshirts. It’s not unheard of. Assuming Eason stays healthy, then it’s a no brainer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. sUGArdaddy

    If Jake Fromm starts, we’re in trouble, boys. If the last 17 yrs have taught us anything, it’s that a freshman qb means 4 losses at least.

    Eason was much better than nearly every freshman qb we’ve ever had, and Zeier and Stafford were the only real true frosh. He was light yrs ahead of 2006 stafford. #10 is going to be alright, guys. He led us to game winning drives in 3 games (Missouri, UT and U.K.). The kid’s got it.

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    • Macallanlover

      We must have been watching different games last season, or have very different evaluations because he didn’t “have it” last year. But hey, he was a freshman and played like one. I certainly hope he improves substantially before next fall. If he doesn’t, I hope Jake Fromm is as good as reports indicate, but we have heard all that before. Let’s hope their battle is at a high level, I don’t care which QB gets it done on the field, but we need improved play in 2017….and I think we get it either way.

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  13. The Dawg abides

    The ideal situation would be Ramsey staying, then Fromm really pushing Eason during spring and preseason practices. Go into the season planning to redshirt Fromm. If Eason gets hurt, Ramsey finishes the game. If it looks like Eason will be out for any extended period of time, then the shirt would have to come off Fromm.

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    • rchris

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to duplicate your post. I just happened to be thinking the exact same thing and typing it while your comment was posting. Great minds and all that I guess.

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  14. rchris

    Ramsey doesn’t have the mental makeup for the qb position, but he does have a strong arm and he did finish out the bowl game a couple of years ago. He ought to be at least serviceable as a short term backup if Eason gets knocked out for a piece of a game here and there. A more long term injury to Eason, however, and we’d probably have to burn Fromm’s redshirt.

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  15. JarvisCrowell

    Has anyone heard anything about Ben Cleveland? It’s been surprising quiet about the most highly touted Olineman of last year’s class.

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  16. W Cobb Dawg

    That depth chart is bogus. Where’s slingin Sammy Vaughn?

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    • Macallanlover

      Doubt any of us here know for sure but reports I have heard was Cleveland was a little “soft” coming in and needed S&C work, as well as needing improvement on footwork. From more than one source, also heard that he may end up playing guard, not tackle.

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  17. I’d love NOTHING more than for Eason to give us three solid years and Fromm to start as a redshirt Sophomore. UGA hasn’t had anything other than a freshman (true or redshirt) start or 5th year senior (or Lambert) since Richt got here. The result has been boom or bust. Yes, Murray with 3 years experience was a stud. But we suffered through a lot of growing pains for those high points. Would be nice to round off the edges.

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  18. doofusdawg

    I figure the only reason Catalina came last year was because Pittman told him the left tackle spot was his. Think this year Pittman did the same thing with Hayes and Wilson for each tackle spot respectively. If Wynn holds the left guard spot and Guilliard center. The only question is whether or not Symms holds the other guard spot. Despite all the recruiting hype this is not a vast improvement of last years offensive line. The only way to take a step forward without waiting till 2018 is to shake things up. That and for Guilliard to put on 10-20 lbs.

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  19. Mayor

    What I want to see is tackles playing tackle and guards playing guard. If only that happens it will be a vast improvement IMHO.

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