Ian Boyd, in praise of Jacob Eason, pretty much knocks down the major issues that plagued Georgia’s offense last season.
Poor pass protection? Check.
For the offense, this looks like a busted play, and it’s not really clear what they were trying to run. Somehow the Dawgs made a positive gain, thanks to Eason just barely getting this toss off to Chubb releasing down the field.
Poor protection and overall execution on the part of the offense regularly put Eason in the role of improv artist. His heralded ability to throw the ball on the move was often all that stood between the Dawg offense and disaster. At times, he even flipped disaster into success, averting pressure and making long completions.
Lack of support from the receiving corps? Check again.
Beyond their shaky protections, Georgia lacked scary receivers on the outside for Eason to target with his big arm. That it made it hard to effectively attack the middle of the field with more talented options like Nauta or Isaiah McKenzie, because defenses were loading up between the hash marks.
Nauta averaged eight yards per target and McKenzie 9.9, but outside receivers Terry Godwin and Javon Wims averaged only 6.3 and 5.8 yards, respectively. The combination of Eason’s arm strength and anticipation and UGA’s tight ends and running backs should’ve created lots of opportunities outside. It didn’t work out in 2016.
None of which is to say that Eason is a finished product. Boyd notes more than once that he has to get smoother and faster with his progressions, but as the spring game showed, his success in 2017 will still be largely tied to the help he gets from his surrounding cast.