How Will The Georgia Bulldogs Replace Their Departed Stars?

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Roquan Smith of Georgia poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #8 overall by the Chicago Bears during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Roquan Smith of Georgia poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #8 overall by the Chicago Bears during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

During the 2018 NFL Draft, six players from the University of Georgia were drafted. Three former Georgia Bulldogs were drafted in the first round Roquan Smith, Isaiah Wynn, and Sony Michel.

Michel’s partner in the backfield, Nick Chubb, went in the second round while Lorenzo Carter went in the third. The last pick out of Georgia was Javon Wims, who went in the 7th round to the Chicago Bears.

We’ll look into each player’s impact at Georgia, their potential impact in the NFL, and who their replacement might be.

Roquan Smith was drafted 8th overall by the Chicago Bears. Who are some options to be his replacement?

Roquan Smith was a stud over the last two years for the Bulldog’s defense.He finished with 113 tackles this season and had 95 last season.

This led Smith to be named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and winning the Butkus Award. Although Georgia fell short in the National Championship game, they likely wouldn’t have made it without Smith.

His production will be hard to replace at Georgia, and he was one of the best linebacker prospects we’ve seen recently.

Smith is an athletic linebacker with the ability to play in coverage while also stopping the run. He will likely start from day one for the Bears and will provide an immediate boost to their defense.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him make 10+ Pro Bowls during his career, and he will help their run defense significantly.

There are two replacements who I think could end up taking Smith’s spot, although their impact might not be as significant right away.

The first is incoming freshman Channing Tindall, who was ranked as the 5th best inside-linebacker prospect in the 2018 class.

Although he might struggle in the first few games, if he can earn Coach Smart’s trust, he should be a solid replacement for Smith.

The second option is Jaden Hunter, who was a four-star recruit in the 2017 class. Hunter is another speedy linebacker who has the ability to cover both sidelines with ease.

The only question is if he can come in and replace Smith and be the centerpiece of the Bulldogs defense.

It’s always hard to trust young players, but I feel like Coach Smart might end up utilizing both linebackers and seeing which one stands out.

Isaiah Wynn was the second 1st round pick from Georgia, as he went to the New England Patriots at 23rd overall.

Wynn was a solid contributor for the Bulldog’s offensive line during his time at Georgia.

He started 41 games during his career, and played in a total of 51.

Wynn split time between guard and tackle, but he started all 15 games at left tackle last year.

This led to him being named a Second-Team All-American and being selected in the first round.

The main question for his career in the NFL is if he’ll stay at tackle or if he’ll move to guard as many scouts suggested.

Wynn’s biggest issues seem to be his size, as he’s only 6’3, but built with a stocky frame.

The Patriots might try to utilize him as a replacement for Nate Soldier, but they’d likely be better off keeping him inside.

This isn’t a knock on Wynn’s ability whatsoever, just a concern that he’ll struggle against NFL defenders.

No matter what position he ends up at though, he will provide a boost to the Patriot’s offensive line.

I do wonder which route Georgia takes to replace Wynn though. One option would be D’Marcus Hayes, who redshirted last season but was a heavily touted JUCO prospect.

Although Hayes only played on the scout team, he has the ideal size for a left tackle. If he can make a strong impression in camp, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as the starter.

UGA might also just move their offensive linemen around, and switch someone like Andrew Thomas to left tackle.

Who knows what direction they’ll take, but their starting lineup is something to watch.

How will Georgia replace their two stud running backs, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel?

Georgia had arguably the best 1-2 punch at running back last season, and it showed based on their draft position.

Sony Michel was picked by the Patriots (see a trend here?) at 31st overall.Chubb went a few picks later to the Cleveland Browns at 35th overall.

Both had amazing college careers and it’ll be tough to describe how great they were in writing.Michel ended his career with 3,613 rushing yards, 621 receiving yards, and 39 total touchdowns.

He had a stellar senior year and rushed for 1,227 yards and averaged almost 8 yards per carry.The Patriots tend to implement a committee approach with running backs, but Michel could be a long-term starter.

Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger, and Michel will allow the team to take pressure off him moving forward.

Although the Super Bowl was mostly about passing yards, Michel would have allowed the Pats to slow the pace and control the game.

His usage will be something to watch this season, but I think he will be a solid option for them.Nick Chubb also had an illustrious career at Georgia and finished with 4,769 rushing yards.

He came back from a gruesome knee injury to finish his career and was rewarded when he got selected by the Browns.

Although the Browns recently signed Carlos Hyde in free agency, Chubb might prove to be a better option right now.Hyde struggles with injuries and always seems to miss extended periods of time.

If Chubb is able to wrestle away the starting job from him, he might never give it back.It might be nearly impossible for Georgia to replace the impact these two players had during their career, and especially last season.

I would expect one of their options next season to be D’Andre Swift, who finished the 2017 season with 597 rushing yards.

Swift was an outstanding third option last year, but he probably wants the starting role now.He might be overshadowed by incoming freshman Zamir White though.

White is the number one running back prospect of the 2018 recruiting class.He had an outstanding high school career and set numerous records in the state of North Carolina.

Depending on how he’s healed from a torn ACL, he could end up starting the season as the number one option.

I have a feeling Swift will get the majority of carries in the first few weeks, but it’d be smart for the Bulldogs to also use White.

The Bulldogs also have to replace senior linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who was drafted by the New York Giants.

Carter played 54 games for the Bulldog’s defense and finished his career with 165 tackles.

During his career, he also racked up 14 sacks and 7 forced fumbles.His impact allowed the rest of the defense to thrive, and he was great in 2017.

I don’t know if he’ll start for the Bears this year, but Carter should provide rotational help and improve their defense.

He will likely rack up a couple sacks consistently every year in Chicago, which is solid expectations for a third rounder. Although he might not make the Pro Bowl every year, I expect him to have a long NFL career.

Pass rushers are hard to find, and Carter is able to do a lot of the little things really well.Georgia might have already found his replacement last season though, and his name is Walter Grant.

Grant only had 9 tackles last year, but he played in 15 games and is a logical replacement for Carter.

I’d expect to see Grant in the starting lineup when the season opener rolls around, and he might end up being even better than Carter.

Carter was originally recruited as a defensive tackle, so it’s hard to compare those ranks, but Grant was a four-star prospect as an inside linebacker.

Predictions are always hard in May, but I have a feeling Grant will be a stud for the Bulldogs.

The last draft pick from Georgia was Javon Wims, who went in the 7th round to the Bears.

Wims was the leading receiver for Georgia in 2017, racking in 45 receptions for 720 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Although Wims only played two seasons for the Bulldogs, he was a stud for their offense last year.

When your average catch goes for 16 yards, you’re always going to be a solid contributor to your team.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Bears utilize Wims this season, as they signed a bunch of receivers in free agency.

They currently have 10 receivers on their roster, so we’ll see if Wims ends up making final cuts.

If the Bears utilize him properly though, he could be a solid deep-threat for second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky.The replacement for Wims is likely Terry Godwin, who will be entering his senior year.

Godwin caught 38 balls last year and finished the season with 639 yards.Georgia will likely be more of a pass-oriented offense this year with Michel and Chubb leaving.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Godwin exceed 1,000 yards and catch 10 touchdowns.The No. 2 option will likely be Riley Ridley, and they’ll both provide solid contributions to the Bulldogs offense.

Next: Braves News

Overall Georgia might initially have some trouble replacing these players, but they have seemingly solid options in line this season. Let us know who you think Georgia will have the most difficult time replacing in the comments.