After wide receiver George Pickens tore his ACL, the Georgia coaching staff has been searching for a replacement. G-Day finally gave them a solution: freshman Adonai Mitchell.
Mitchell has been drawing rave reviews throughout spring practice. He wins at the line of scrimmage and provides his quarterback an easy target.
Mitchell validated all the hype around him on Saturday. He was the No. 1 target for quarterback JT Daniels and made an impact early.
No corner was able to cover him, and even if coverage was tight, Mitchell attacks the ball in the air exceptionally well. Mitchell has an advanced route-running skillset for a true freshman and also knows how to beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage.
When the defense tried to contain him with zone coverage, he found the openings downfield. When they left him one-on-one, he created separation early in the route and finished the play by attacking the ball.
The highlight of his afternoon came at the end of the first half. Daniels dropped back on third-and-long and fired a shot toward the left sideline. Mitchell found the hole in the zone and laid out for a touchdown.
Mitchell also proved to be a quick learner. He started off the afternoon by not catching two back-shoulder throws from Daniels. However, he continued to compete and made those tough plays as the scrimmage wore on.
Pickens had the opportunity to win the Biletnikoff Award this season. Mitchell is not there yet, but can immediately make an impact in the regular season.
He should prove to be a nice complement to fellow wideout Jermaine Burton this fall. The appealing thing about Mitchell is that he doesn't have a glaring weakness in his game.
While he doesn't have elite top-end speed, he is quick and finds his top gear fast. He can play inside and out because of his route-running and can naturally catch the ball.
The Bulldogs need someone who can do a variety of things this fall. Mitchell can fill many different roles that will earn him playing time early.
It has become apparent that barring injury, Mitchell will be the most impactful freshman for the Bulldogs. He does everything the staff asks him to do and is ready for battle.
That leaves the question: What is are the reasonable expectations for Mitchell? He is talented, but is only a freshman.
A good parallel may be Burton's freshman campaign. Both are talented and were expected to be Day-1 contributors as true freshmen.
However, Burton had to wait to make a big impact. Expect Mitchell to play well early in the season, but truly come on later in his freshman campaign.
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