Georgia 2020 Depth Chart Preview: Outside Receivers
Outside receivers are going to be the focus of today's 2020 depth chart breakdown. There are several big-bodied, physical guys on Georgia's roster that have the size and the speed to put themselves in a position to play. However, one man named George Pickens stands out far from the rest. With the body control and route-running ability to become one of, if not the, greatest to ever put on the Red & Black before all is said and done.
A big question this year is who steps up on the other side of Pickens to relieve some of the pressure and attention that defenses will assuredly throw his way in 2020. Let's get right into it and breakdown the depth chart. Keep in mind we've earlier designated Demetris Robertson, Dominick Blaylock, Arian Smith and Jermaine Burton as more slot/inside receiver types. Obviously, through varying formations and personnel groups, there will be times when those players will align outside.
The group we will focus on here consists of George Pickens, Matt Landers, Justin Robinson, Marcus Rosemy, Makia Tongue, and Tommy Bush.
1. George Pickens/Matt Landers (X/Z)
One of these is quite obvious. George Pickens has a God-given advantage over just about everyone he lines up across from in the game of football. The length that he has and the ability to create separation even when technically "covered" is something that can't be taught. Pickens has some maturity issues to deal with in terms of his temperament and how he handles adversity as a young man, but maturity in his game was evident toward the ladder part of the season.
When he was available and on the field for the Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, LSU, and Baylor games at the end of the season, Pickens put his skills on display for the entire world. In those four games alone, George racked up 327 yards and averaged 17.2 yards per reception. And he only played for a quarter essentially against Tech and a half against LSU.
He also scored in each of those final four games. When most were hitting their Freshman wall, Pickens was just starting to thrive. Building a rapport with Jamie Newman and the other quarterbacks will be huge this offseason, as he has the potential to be a bonafide number 1 receiver, in every sense, like Georgia has not seen in some time.
The other player, Matt Landers, may draw the ire of some Georgia fans when reading this due to some critical drops this past year. Landers certainly has struggled at times to complete plays all the way through the catch as replay officials would say. However, Landers is a 6'5" 200 pound, SEC experienced receiver.
Landers and company have a clean slate with Todd Monken coming in. The will-be Redshirt Junior will have the first crack at trying to maintain his starting role. He has shown the ability to get open and put himself in position to make plays, now Landers must learn to finish or there will be some incoming talent that will overtake him.
2. Marcus Rosemy/Makiya Tongue (X/Z)
Again, I'd like to state that Demetris Robertson or Jermaine Burton could slide outside at times to fill these roles, but in terms of purely outside guys, Rosemy and Tongue are next on deck.
Marcus Rosemy is scary talented coming into Athens. He has a grown man build as an 18-year-old. 6'2" 195 pounds and he hasn't even started the Georgia strength and conditioning program yet. Rosemy is excellent at the top of his routes and possesses elite short-area quickness for someone his size. He is also a tireless worker. If you follow him on social media, you'll see countless occurrences of him going through rigorous sessions with other elite talents. It's obvious that the St. Thomas Aquinas product strives for greatness and he'll have the chance to obtain it underneath Todd Monken's tutilage.
However, the speed of the game is different in the SEC, no matter how talented you are coming out of high school. Rosemy will have to hit the ground running this summer to earn the early reps with Virginia and Alabama on the schedule for the Dawgs in the first three weeks.
Makiya Tongue is an often forgotten part of the equation for the Bulldog receiving core. Tongue redshirted in 2019, his first season in Athens. However, this young man was a 4-Star prospect in his own right and at 6'2" 210 pounds, he definitely has the frame to be able to handle the rigors of the SEC and the physical play that is dealt out by secondaries across the conference. It's a new offensive system, so I know that having a year in the program isn't as big of an advantage, but I feel like just having been on campus, knowing how to manage classes, practice, and gameday routines will serve him well headed into his 2nd year between the hedges because the receiver from Baton Rouge with an NFL pedigree is certainly talented enough to make a jump this year.
3. Tommy Bush/Justin Robinson (X/Z)
Tommy Bush is another 4-Star prospect that has yet to see that talent come to fruition in his time in Athens. In 2018, he was more or less buried down in the depth chart behind some very talented and experienced receivers. In 2019, he was injury-plagued all season, only making an appearance in the Georgia Tech game. Bush has great length and possesses 4.4 speed when healthy. Once again, there's a clean slate for everyone with Monken at the helm. Bush will need to take advantage of being on campus and impressing during workouts and spring in order to potentially carve out a role for himself.
Justin Robinson is someone that could very easily end up higher on this list by the end of the spring. Robinson got an early jump on things and even practiced with the Dawgs some in preparation for the Sugar Bowl. The extra time on campus is going to be critical for Robinson having played in the Single-A Private division of GHSA.
Don't get me wrong. Robinson is big, he is fast, and he has the ability to make an impact in a hurry. Robinson's long-time personal wide receiver coach and former Georgia great Terrence Edwards compared his game to that of Lawrence Cager in an interview earlier this month with Bulldog Maven. Like Cager, and George Pickens for that matter, Robinson can contort his body in the air and can use his size and physicality to create space to make catches even when being closely covered.
Edwards did go on to admit that the jump from playing at Eagles Landing Christian Academy to playing in the SEC, especially with the early season schedule that Georgia has in 2020, will take an adjustment period. However, Robinson is showing his awareness and maturity by being on campus early and being able to work through any growing pains this spring. I think this quote below from Terrence Edwards sums up what Dawg fans need to know about the incoming Freshman.
"Justin is 6'4", right now as an 18 year old, he's 6'4" and I think he checked in at Georgia at 208. Justin is a long glider. So people don't really understand how fast he is because of his long strides. At either the Georgia camp or the Clemson camp he ran a 4.58 laser (40-yard dash). For a 6'4" 208 pound receiver that is movin'! That is really movin' for a big kid and once he really gets into the strength and conditioning program, just watch out." - (Terrence Edwards on Justin Robinson)
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