Bulldogs Beat

Morning musings: Early look at Georgia's depth chart after one week of the preseason

ATHENS -- There is still plenty of time before Georgia must decide who will hit the field against Louisiana-Monroe with the first team.

But after a week, we can maybe make some educated guesses as to who leads in each department. The quarterback job will probably go for at least another week and a few other positions could take some time. Other positions are also pretty clear.

With the media viewing only two to three periods of practice each day, it's also tough to get a feel for which players lead at certain spots. But here's a look at how things could be shaking out with the two-deep after one week of preseason practice.

QB: Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta, Greyson Lambert

Ramsey has the best arm of the bunch and at least gives Georgia a deep-ball option. And if accuracy issues arise, the Bulldogs can always limit what they want to do with him on offense.

RB: Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Keith Marshall

This is the order the top three running backs have been rotating in, though Georgia look to get plenty of touches for all of them. Even A.J. Turman and Brendan Douglas, the fourth and fifth options, could see game carries. The goal will be to keep the runners fresh, and Georgia features arguably the best and deepest group in the nation.

FB: Christian Payne, Quayvon Hicks

Payne continues to lead Hicks during preseason practice as Georgia's top fullback.

WR: Malcolm Mitchell, Isaiah McKenzie, Reggie Davis, Justin-Scott Wesley, Terry Godwin, Kenneth Towns

Mitchell is the clear No. 1 with the others competing for first-team status. McKenzie was getting a lot of run with the first team before pulling a hamstring. It's unknown how long McKenzie will sit out for, though head coach Mark Richt doesn't think it will be serious. Davis has stepped into the first-team role, with Scott-Wesley and Godwin on the second team. Towns is a fundamental runner that could step in in case of injury.

TE: Jeb Blazevich, Jay Rome

Both tight ends figure to see plenty of playing time this year in two-tight end sets. But for now, Blazevich looks to be the first-team option, though both could be interchangeable during the season.

LT: John Theus, Aulden Bynum

Bynum has been the primary backup for Theus thus far, so if an injury occurred mid-game, Bynum would likely be the one to step in.

LG: Isaiah Wynn, Lamont Galliard

This was what Georgia listed on its summer depth chart and nothing appears to change that as of now.

C: Brandon Kublanow, Hunter Long

Before the spring, Long was an option at center with Kubalnow and Wynn. Both Long and Wynn are options at center if Kublanow suffers an injury.

RG: Greg Pyke, Thomas Swilley

Pyke is versatile enough to fill in at tackle if the situation called for it.

RT: Kolton Houston, Kendall Baker

Baker was a first-team All-State selection in Georgia as a senior in high school but redshirted a year ago.

DL: Sterling Bailey, John Atkins, Josh Dawson, Trenton Thompson, Chris Mayes, Jonathan Ledbetter

The defensive line could go deeper than these six players but these six have comprised the first and second teams in recent practices. Part of that could be due to James DeLoach being out with a fractured hand, though DeLoach isn't expected to miss much time. Thompson is someone that could step into the first unit by the end of the preseason.

OLB: Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Carter, Leonard Floyd, Davin Bellamy

In a base package, Jenkins and Carter are likely to be the top two outside linebackers. Floyd will be moved all over the defense but will see plenty of reps at outside linebacker. He'll play inside linebacker and star as well.

ILB: Tim Kimbrough, Leonard Floyd, Reggie Carter, Jake Ganus

In the base, Kimbrough and Floyd have been the top inside linebackers. In the nickel, it's Kimbrough and Carter, with Floyd at the star. Again, Floyd will move all over the place in various packages. But in a base, the coaches are thinking of using Floyd inside.

CB: Malkom Parrish, Aaron Davis, Reggie Wilkerson, Devin Bowman, Shattle Fenteng, Tramel Terry

Parrish and Davis are the likely leaders at cornerback, and the safest options thanks to their game experience. Plenty of true freshmen, including Rico McGraw, Juwuan Briscoe and Rashad Roundtree, could be in the mix, too.

S: Quincy Mauger, Dominick Sanders, Jarvis Wilson, Johnathan Abram

Mauger and Sanders figure to start the year as the starting safeties, though freshmen Wilson and Abram figure to push for some playing time.

P: Collin Barber, Rodrigo Blankenship

Blankenship can punt and kick, making him an option at punter if Barber is injured.

K: Marshall Morgan, Rodrigo Blankenship

Morgan's job is secure and Blankenship looks to be the kicker for the future.

KOS: Marshall Morgan, Rodrigo Blankenship

If Blankenship is to play as a freshman, this could be where it happens.

LS: Nathan Theus, Trent Frix

Theus was atop the depth chart this summer after appearing in all 13 games as the primary long snapper a year ago.

Hitting the links

In case you missed it, the Athens Banner-Herald's Fletcher Page has a must-read story on former Georgia kicker Billy Bennett and his battle with substance-abuse addiction.

Georgia players discussed the EA Sports/NCAA video game settlement with the Athens Banner-Herald's Connor Riley and what that means for the game's future.

Football is now the only focus for former Georgia wideout Chris Conley, now with the Kansas City Chiefs, writes the AJC's Seth Emerson.

The Senator suggests that Jeremy Pruitt may have been on to certain defensive adjustments before Alabama's Kirby Smart.

Emphasizing turnovers

When defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt arrived, being a ballhawk became a priority.

In 2013, in former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's final season at Georgia, the defense only totaled 15 turnovers -- seven interceptions and eight recovered fumbles. That number almost doubled to 29 in 2014, with the defensive backs picking off 16 passes.

Cornerback Malkom Parrish said that having a nose for the ball has been a focus for all of the DBs in the back end.

“We emphasize (turnovers) every day," Parrish said. "There’s not a day we’re out that goes by that we don’t emphasize turnovers, getting the ball out. Every rep we go out, that is our main goal, get the ball.”

Bulldogs go through two-a-day

Georgia went through its first two-a-day practice on Sunday, with one practice in the morning and one at night.

“One was really hot and one was nice and cool,” Richt said in a statement from the program. “It was hot during the day and cool at night. The first two-a-day of the year, I thought the guys handled it well. I think it helped to have the second one at night, because they had a little more energy because it was not quite as hot. A lot of people are getting better. We are still getting close to finishing up our initial install and getting ready to do some reviews and preparing for the scrimmage on Friday.”


Inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler on freshman Roquan Smith: “He’s fast, instinctive. He’ll put his face on you. Again, he’s one of those guys, usually it takes time for guys to come in and understand how to take on blocks and get off blocks, and he and Juwan (Taylor) have done a great job.”

Song of the day

"Smokestack Lightning" by Howlin' Wolf