There’s a metric Steele created that tracks how a college team’s personnel losses to the NFL draft affect its record the following season:
Over the past 21 years, teams that accumulated more points than the previous year and accumulated…
12 or more points – weaker or same record 282 of 377 (74.8%)
24 or more points – weaker or same record 78 of 96 (81.3%)
35 or more points – weaker or same record 20 of 26 (76.9%)
Points are based on the round a player is drafted in — seven for the first, six for the second, etc.
Anyway, and I’m pretty sure you know where this is headed, number three on his 2018 points lost list is Georgia, with 31. On its face, then, that would indicate Georgia has only a one-in-five chance of improving on its 2017 record. Danger, Will Robinson!
20% ain’t nothing, though. It’s worth noting that Alabama tops that list, with an astounding 44 points, and I don’t see Phil Steele shoveling dirt on the Tide’s grave this year. Quite the contrary, in fact.
And that is the important corollary here. Over time, depth, or, more accurately, talented depth, trumps departures. With that in mind, read David Wunderlich’s post at Gator Country comparing Florida’s talent levels at each position to those of Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
In any event, Georgia has an enormous talent lead on the rest of its division. It pulled ahead in that respect thanks to its blockbuster 2018 signing class, so it’s an advantage that should prove durable for a few years.
It’s even more stark if we just look at the number of players with each given star rating on the rosters.
Team 5-Stars 4-Stars 3-Stars 2-Stars Florida 2 34 42 2 Georgia 13 48 24 1 South Carolina 0 23 53 6 Tennessee 1 34 47 2
Florida and Tennessee combined only have ten more blue chip 4-star and 5-star players (71) than Georgia has by itself (61). That 2018 class again figures large here, as nearly half (14) of the top 30 players on UGA’s roster by the Composite are freshmen.
The SEC lives in a Jimmies-and-Joes world. The 2018 NFL draft doesn’t change that.
In all, though, Georgia is and should be the heavy favorite in the division because it’s way out in front in the talent department and showed itself to be well-coached enough on its trip to the national title game a year ago. Mullen just signed Florida’s best class by average recruit rank since 2013, but it’s going to take multiple years of doing even better than that to catch up.