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Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Bulldogs’ TE Trio Gives Them Major Offensive Advantage

  • Ryan Fowler
  • July 19, 2022
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“He’s. A. Freshman.” You can still hear the echoes of cheers raining down toward Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers from last fall. A historic first season in Athens in which the former four-star prep talent was completely uncoverable, Georgia’s overwhelmingly deep arsenal of flex talents has formed one of the country’s most intimidating positional groups behind one of college football’s most polarizing aerial options.

For Bowers, his numbers in 2021 were laughable… in the best way possible, that is. In his first season, in the SEC, his 56 catches for 882 yards and 13 touchdowns looked too easy at times and have led many within the industry to ponder just how much more he could improve moving into his sophomore season. A unique blend of size, speed, and power, Bowers is far beyond his years as a space creator in the intermediate areas of the offense. While we’ll have to wait until—at least—2024 to hear his name called in the NFL draft, his game will only continue to evolve as one of the nation’s premier pass-catchers, no matter his positional designation. 

Behind Bowers, however, is where things really begin to pop, as former five-star talent Arik Gilbert and the mountain of a man that is Darnell Washington round out a unit that allows offensive coordinator Todd Monken to be creative in his offensive personnel packages. While the name of the game at the NFL level is often centered around a team’s ability to succeed in base 11-personnel (1 RB, 1 TE), heavy dosing of two-tight-end sets (12), and 13-personnel (three TEs) present opposing defenses with a case of pick your poison when attempting to holster the Bulldogs’ trio of playmakers.

Following a standout campaign at LSU in 2020, Gilbert transferred to Georgia last summer, making his way to campus in early June. After going through summer workouts with the team, he began preseason camp with the program but eventually left the team in mid-August due to personal reasons. While he failed to register a snap during Georgia’s run to a national title, he returned to the program in January and has since been a full participant in spring ball—he was a standout during the Bulldogs’ ‘G-Day’ spring scrimmage, hauling in a pair of touchdown receptions. The nation’s former No. 5 overall prospect, and No. 1 tight end via 247Sports Composite rankings, Gilbert checks off every box you look for in a modern-day in-line talent, and should enjoy a nice workload this fall.

For Washington, while his pro projection as a pass-catcher right now looks to be far less lofty than that of Bowers and Gilbert, he’s a dominant man mover in the run game that uses every fiber of his 265-pound frame to displace defenders. Despite minimal opportunities through the air, he’s proven to be more than a serviceable option in the passing game as 10 of his 27 career targets have gone for gains of 15 or more yards. And, as expected, he’s a hoss to bring down in open space as an army of tacklers is usually needed to bring his 6-foot-7 frame to the turf. 

A trio of talents, the success of Bowers, Gilbert, and Washington will hold massive weight if Georgia will look to repeat as national champions. Three unique athletes with varying skill sets, the continued evolution of Monken’s playbook will present the Georgia offense with a laundry list of advantageous matchups to take advantage of all season long.

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Ryan Fowler