Georgia 2020 Depth Chart Preview: Offensive Tackles
The University of Georgia's offensive line has lost a combined 115 starts to either the NFL Draft or the transfer portal, and three of those four linemen that are no longer on the roster played offensive tackle.
Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson made 67 collective starts and have been the two starting tackles for the last two full seasons, with Cade Mays and Jamaree Salyer occupying the backup roles at left and right tackle respectively. Now, the only one left in last year's two-deep depth chart is Salyer.
He will look to lead an extremely young group in 2020. Today, we take a look at the guys that could compete for the two available spots.
Could you imagine Jamaree Salyer and Andrew Thomas playing on the same offensive line in high school, and a Single-A one at that? Well, it happened at Pace Academy for three seasons. Salyer will enter the offseason headed into his Junior season as one of the two starting tackles after being a reserve lineman in his first two seasons at Georgia.
Salyer entered UGA as the nation's #1 Guard in the 2018 class, a consensus 5-star with incredible athletic ability. That athleticism paired with a few years in the UGA weight program (Salyer's dropped considerable weight since his arrival) has allowed him to make the transfer outward on the line. Making a move from guard to tackle is something that rarely happens.
Here's the full film session of the guys we will discuss today:
I can not express how impressed I was with the limited work Truss put on film in 2019. Granted, the three games he played in were against far inferior competition nonetheless, he flashed as a true freshman on a college football field. And coming from Rhode Island - a state not exactly known for its high school football prowess - one could have expected an adjustment period to Power-5 football. Yet, he continued to dominate with power and physicality.
All indications from those in and around the program this season were that Truss was the most impressive young tackle in practice this season. I have to admit, prior to this film review, I was under the impression that Georgia would need to let Salyer play some left tackle, but I am now on the Big Truss bandwagon for 2020.
McClendon was a 4-star tackle out of high school and as a true freshman, McClendon saw playing time in four games, including the Sugar Bowl. He projects more as a right tackle in my opinion and worked with the second group at the end of the season with Wilson and Thomas not practicing.
McClendon can be a bit of a leaner in the run game, but that comes with age and strength as he fills out. He has all of the tools to make a leap into the starting job, and his frame and body movements remind me a lot of a young Andrew Thomas. Thick, athletic lower half with long and lanky arms.
Owen was hurt most of the 2019 season, first with a lower-body injury and then he was seen with a sling on his left shoulder. So, his second season on campus was spent in the training room. And he was buried so far down on the depth chart anyways that he rarely got playing time when healthy, even in the blowouts.
However, that being said, I don't know if Condon's the perfect fit for Luke's style of play at the tackle position. He's a straight-line athlete, and in 2020 we expect tackles to be asked to move a lot more laterally via counter run plays.
I'll be as forthcoming as possible. My two favorite guys in this bunch to watch are Tate and Truss. Two really large human beings that play with the fire of a 6'0, 260-pound tackle fighting for their first offers. That type of intensity and effort will always translate.
Tate is ultra-competitive and will walk onto campus in Athens willing to do whatever required to be in the mix for playing time come September 7th. And if his week at the Adidas All-American game is any indication of what's to come, Ratledge could be special early.
Jones is just a UGA commit, and though he is currently on an official visit in Athens as the typing of this article, he's not yet a Georgia signee. However, assuming he does end up signing with the Dawgs, they will be getting one of the most dynamic athletes at the tackle position that I have ever evaluated.
Fluid, quick twitchy, explosive, and fast. All words used to describe athletic prospects, all words rarely used to describe 6'6, 295 pounders. Though he's raw as a tackle, considering he's only played two seasons at the position, Jones is just different.
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