After the initial reaction to the ACL tear suffered by wideout George Pickens, reality set in for the Bulldogs: They have now lost all of their real experience at the X spot in their offense.
However, there is hope and optimism surrounding the situation considering the wealth of young talent on the roster.
One of those young and talented prospects is sophomore wide receiver, Justin Robinson. Robinson spent his freshman year redshirting, acclimating himself to the playbook, his teammates and life in Athens. Robinson was initially expected to also use this year to learn, getting a few on-field reps but preparing for a battle to start in camp next year.
Certainly, Robinson was vying for playing time this fall during spring practice, but now he's tasked with something entirely different.
Unfortunately for Georgia, due to the Pickens' injury, the timetable for Robinson's needed impact has been pushed up considerably.
His battle for the position starts now, and many around camp appear to think that he is up for the challenge. He is the most physically gifted wideout on the roster for the Bulldogs, carrying a 6-foot-4 220-pound frame with tremendous athletic ability and strength.
Injuries hampered his learning experience towards the end of last season, but it sounds like he has picked up the offense nicely in his time this spring. He has brought energy to practices and made some plays on 50-50 balls.
The challenge for Robinson in replacing Pickens is that he becomes quarterback JT Daniels de-facto "go-get-it" guy. Many would say that wide receiver Jermaine Burton would assume that role, but if that becomes the reality in 2021, the Bulldogs offense likely isn't living up to its potential.
Burton should take a massive step forward this year and lead the team in all major statistical categories, but he wins in route-running and separation in the intermediate level of the field. He certainly can win downfield, but the Bulldogs would be minimizing his talents if they handicapped him by being a jump-ball receiver.
Robinson is the obvious replacement for that spot. He has all of the physical tools and in addition is at his best when given those exact opportunities.
Stepping into this role is easier said than done. It will require an entire offseason of diligence and work in order to develop a chemistry with Daniels, but if he is able to do it, Robinson is currently the best suited to take on the challenge on the outside.
Additionally, Robinson has to remain healthy and avoid injuries that keep him off of the practice field and out of the weight room. Georgia needs him at full strength at all times.
He will likely split time with wideout Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, who would have been the obvious choice, but Rosemy-Jacksaint broke his ankle vs. Florida and is still recovering this spring.
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