Today, in spring takes

So, a few days ago, somebody suggested a little debate/temperature taking on which personnel development would have a bigger impact on Georgia’s 2021 season:  George Pickens’ absence, or Tykee Smith’s addition.

Sounds like a good post topic.  To get things started, here are a couple of takes.

From Seth Emerson:

Meanwhile, this 247Sports list of the top ten impact transfers for this season doesn’t even mention Smith.  (Although Tyrique Stevenson makes number seven on it.)

At this early point, the contrarian in me leans slightly in Smith’s favor, simply because (1) I have a lot of faith in Todd Monken’s ability to scheme and (2) the secondary really looks to need the kind of experienced talent Smith brings to the table.  Like many of my spring feels, though, subsequent events may render them obsolete.  We shall see.

Where do you see things?


Filed under Georgia Football

40 responses to “Today, in spring takes

  1. I think Pickens’s absence is still the bigger deal. The game is won on offense now, and when you’ve lost a difference maker that everyone has to scheme around, it matters. There’s enough guys on the back end who are talented that if Kirby can’t find 5 guys who can play, that’s a damning indictment of the state of the program.

    Neither changed my perception of the season 11-1 and a spot in a de facto quarterfinal in Atlanta. No excuses.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. 81Dog

    “Pickens out, season over before it starts for UGA” is the kind of low hanging fruit/snap judgment lots of sports reporters love. Everyone wants to be the first one to be smart enough to see the collapse of a contender.

    Pickens being out is a loss, for sure. But a fatal one? I’m going to have to see that actually happening, and the handful of talented sophs, freshmen, and Kearis Jackson before I believe it.

    Smith doesn’t have to be peak Deion Sanders to solidify the DB room. He could be the missing ingredient in what already seems to be a pretty formidable D. The apparent softest spot is the DBs, so he could pull it all together nicely.

    The reporters also know that if they get it wrong about UGA being doomed, all they have to do is pretend they never said it. WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH EASTASIA! Hacks. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  3. argondawg

    There is no replacing Pickens. With JT at QB he was quite possibly going to put up numbers that put him as the top receiver in the conference. He forced the defense to roll coverage towards him. That being said, once our receiver room is healthy in the fall it should be as stacked as anyone. Tykee Snith is a huge pickup in an area that needs leadership and experience. Depending on who transfers after spring we will get one maybe 2 corners and possibly a receiver. We only have 2 spots available as of today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Godawg

    Don’t get me wrong, losing Pickens hurts but maybe not as much as the the inexperience in the secondary. Smith brings, not only experience, but hopefully some leadership to the group as well. We have a bunch of potential in the receiving corps and someone, or two will emerge. You know every team was going to key on Pickens so we lose not just the receiver, but the decoy as well. HOWEVER…we still got Big 0. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ran A

    If Georgia was in it’s typical talent mode at receiver, meaning one alpha receiver and one or two good receivers and we were still playing man-ball, then I would understand possibly waiving off title hopes. And let’s be clear, Pickens was due tot have the ‘year of years’ with a QB that could put it where it belonged and so much other talent that you would be forced to actually not double or triple him at times.

    But this is ‘by far’ the most talented WR group Georgia has ever had. And while I would love for their to be a little more experience, they should have a stellar year. You can say the same for the tight end group, with the freshman Bowers being so good that the word is that this kid is fast and big. He played running back in college and apparently is all but guaranteed to up UGA’s average YAC. In short – they love him. Add to it, that we have a couple of backs (James and Mcintosh) that are absolute threats to go everytime you get the ball out to them in space.

    This is the most optimistic that I have ever been about a Georgia team going into the season. But this is college football. Injuries happen, they are kids and they make mistakes. But from a talent level, coaching maturity level, time in the system. Georgia should be awfully difficult to beat this fall.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ran A

      In the interest of accuracy, the Bowers kid played ‘some running back’ in High School – not running back in college. He’s a big fast kid that tends to catch just about everything around him. Did not play his Senior year in High School (California – Covid), but has turned heads ever sense getting to campus in January. Watch out for this kid. Seriously would not be surprised to see this kid end up some in the slot, where a linebacker has to cover him straight up. (Good luck with that).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Munsoning

      Hopefully Pickens’ absence forces Monken to get even more creative. As you say, the Dawgs have RBs and TEs who are major receiving threats. Throw Burton, Smith, Blaylock, et al., into the mix, and J.T. should be short-circuiting scoreboards in ’21.


      • whats more creative than 4 open passing options? He doesnt need to do anything different.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Munsoning

          Yeah, I didn’t phrase that comment well. I should have written something like, “Even w/out Pickens Monken has plenty of receiving threats, and they aren’t all WRs, so the Dawgs should score a ton of points in ’21.”


  6. I would have to lean towards Smith being the bigger impact, as well. Over the course of the regular season anyway. I think the WR group having so much depth versus the CB group means Smith is the answer. Losing Stevenson unexpectedly was huge in my eyes.

    Now, if we are talking post season (SECCG and/or Playoff) then I think that is where not having Pickens means more. He is the type of game changer you need in those type of games. Someone who can make big plays no matter the talent level on the opposing side. Like others have said, Pickens has to be accounted for by the opponent’s D-coordinator.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Derek

    Until I see a sure bet “go to” guy OR just a fleet of uncoverable deer dancing through secondaries, Pickens’ absence rates higher.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rigger92

      I know my comment is a bit silly, but I always laugh at myself when I’m playing with my dog in the yard. She lets me chase her and tackle her if I can get her, damn if she’s not juking me out of my shoes all the time. Made me imagine doing football drills by having the db’s try to tackle Lab’s.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Down Island Way

      Mr. Pickens is a decent route runner with really good skills, his attempts at being a viable decoy lacked “foolability”…his presence will be one opposing dc’s won’t miss, UGA football went multiple games last year without George, until a UGA WR gives a deep threat at any given moment, UGA football will have to settle for maybe less explosive 15-20 passing gains vs 25-40 yard gains…maybe # 18 proves us all wrong and will find the open receiver every fuckin’ pass he throws…


  8. Sweet D

    And I’ll go you one further. I think there’s a decent chance GP comes back for ‘22. Hear me out, but I think the one big thing holding him back from going super high in the draft is the mental stuff. He really is missing an opportunity to show teams that he has matured and won’t cause locker room drama, draw dumb penalties or get in trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bmacdawg87

      Look at some of the clowns that have been catching balls in the NFL for years. With Pickens skill set there are more than a few GMs that would take that risk. He gone.

      Liked by 2 people

    • JaxDawg

      He was the player I was looking forward to watching the most. And I would LOVE to see him come back. But our last chance to see him play for the dawgs will be the back end of this season, if we are lucky.

      He’s made some dumb mistakes, but I doubt that would be enough to give a NFL team pause.

      Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      He’s gone after this year for sure.

      The GT guy started it and got what he deserved.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. CB


    So, a few days ago, (CB) suggested a little debate/temperature taking on which personnel development would have a bigger impact on Georgia’s 2021 season:


    • CB

      I still have to go with Smith here. Losing Pickens is a big blow, but he was more of a luxury than a need given the depth at WR. Meanwhile we replaced an overweight locker room problem who got beat like a yard dog throughout 2020 with an All American at the Star position.


  10. MGW

    I’d trade smith for a healthy Pickens in a heartbeat. But what do I know: seems like it’s a lot easier for the layman to really understand the impact of good offensive players than defensive ones. Especially the ripple effect their presence has on the rest of the unit.

    Defense seems like the loss of a single player is more easily shored up by the fact that, for example with the secondary, the most important thing is just for everyone to be in the right place at the right time trying to do the right thing; only then does any individual’s superior talent even matter. And even in the absence of superior talent, the scheme itself can neutralize a good offense. But on O it seems like you can have the most heads up WR in the country but he’s got to be very talented to do any real damage, and he’s got to have chemistry with the QB.

    All that on top of the fact that these days, as we full well know, a great O is going to dominate even the best D.

    So give me the dominant WR over a solid DB all day long.


  11. originaluglydawg

    Which position (receiver or DB) can Georgia least afford an injury at now?
    That answers the question for me.
    The dawgrading crap that sports media is constantly dreaming up is dumb.


  12. PTC DAWG

    IF one WR going down derails UGA, we weren’t all that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MGW

      Not going to derail the whole season, but….

      Here’s some food for thought: Imagine early Saban era Bama without Julio. Remember, they won some very close games.


  13. Russ

    I really hated to lose Pickens because I thought he was going to be on another level this season. However, the receiver room (including TEs and RBs) is still loaded and I think we’ll see others step up. The advantage for now is that other teams won’t know who to focus on.

    Gaining Smith in the secondary is a big get. We have a lot of talent on defense but it’s young. Smith will be a big help. Wish he’d been here during the spring.


    • “The advantage for now is that other teams won’t know who to focus on.”

      Certainly Pickens’ injury will hurt the production of Jackson and Burton as they will see more defensive attention. I just hope one of those guys can step up and open things up for all the other weapons you mentioned.

      Liked by 1 person

      • but it doesnt work that way. Its not like other receivers are wildly uncovered if Pickins is on the field. At least by choice. So what, one of our guys gets their best DB. we still have 2-4 other good guys.


  14. W Cobb Dawg

    Pickens is (hard to bring myself to say ‘was’) probably the best player on the offense. Smith is a good get to fill a hole at DB, but no way he becomes our best player D.

    The thing about Pickens is that we underutilized him. (Only 36 receptions?! Really?) I think that’s why we don’t expect such a dramatic drop off in production from that spot.


  15. ASEF

    Pickens is a number-changer on offense. He changes the distribution of personnel in the back 7. He warps space on the field.

    If Tykee’s good enough to erase the other team’s #1 and allow a safety to devote his entire attention to another problem, then Tykee is, at best, a wash.


  16. milehighdawg

    Best case scenario for our offense:
    1.Washington comes out of the gates with 3 big games and becomes the focal point of opposing D coordinators’ schemes (as Pickens was).
    2. Running game – including passes to RBs out of backfield – is effective at chunk plays.
    That opens up opportunities for Bowers and our speedsters to feast.

    *Pickens coming back for end-of-season heroics would be gravy. I’m not pinning my hopes on it, but damn if we’re not overdue for some luck in that dept.


  17. We’re not a passing team yet, but finally closer to parity. Our running game will cover for the loss of Pickens. D coordinators still need to account for stopping RBU first. JT adds the talent and we have enough TE/WR talent to bring needed balance to our attack. Pickens was going to be a game-changer, but we still have enough to get to the SECCG.

    Without Smith, we could lose to Clemson and get upset by somebody late during a shootout or off-day we always seem to have. If we repeat having the #1 D, we’ll score enough with this O to get the job done. Then let’s see how Bama fares with injuries and if Pickens can return late.


  18. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    My concern about losing Pickens is mainly about my belief that he makes all the other receivers better because he draws double teams. We will miss that, for sure. That could be solvable with someone else raising their game (maybe even just having a light switch come on) to also draw some doubles. ‘0’ seems like a possible candidate for that when he is in the game, for example. So, I think the addition of Tykee is a slightly bigger deal.


  19. mg4life0331

    It don’t mean nothing, but I like that Burton guy more. He’s smooth and got good hands. I like his ball skills a ton. He also isn’t in danger of getting sat down cause he wants to start shit.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. We had (have) a deeper group of WRs, along with a freaking platoon of RBs, while we were hurting on DBs. In a shootout where breaking serve once a half can win the game, a star DB like smith is huge. That one play break up he will make a quarter maybe the difference. And Pickens can still come back for end of year and post season.


  21. bigjohnson1992

    If it had to happen, it was ‘better’, wrong word, that it did a few weeks ago rather than a week before Clemson. Monken has time to switch a few gears.