The deadline for college players to enter the 2023 NFL Draft has come and gone, with the entry deadline set for Monday. Players who got into the game have until Thursday night to remove their names from the process, and it’s worth noting that players like Sedrick Van Pran and Ladd McConkey haven’t made any public announcements about their plans after the tragic deaths of Devin Willock and Chandler. Licroi.
But for the most part, we know which players will move up to the NFL from the 2022 Georgia team. While the Bulldogs won’t have 15 players drafted again, a number of talented players will fit in the NFL next season.
Below we take a look at the players who are officially leaving and who will replace their Georgia production.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett
Alternate: Carson Beck
Beck is the favorite to replace Bennett in the starting lineup at this point, but the battle for the middle is far from over. Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton will both get to decide who replaces the Heisman winner. Beck doesn’t have the mobility that Vandergrave or Stockton has, but the Jacksonville, Fla., native will be in his fourth season with offensive coordinator Todd Monken and has the best arm of the returning quarterbacks in Georgia.
running back Kenny McIntosh
Alternate: Kendall Melton
With Daijun Edwards filling more of the batter’s role, Melton would serve as the run-in hitter in the Georgia backfield. He is also the top pass catcher in Georgia’s backcourt for the upcoming season. McIntosh caught 43 catches for the Bulldogs this past season, as well as leading the team in rushing. Milton finished strong, and if he can stay healthy, he should emerge as the top team in Georgia next season, even while sharing some of the load with Edwards and rookie Branson Robinson.
Wide receiver Kerris Jackson
Substitute: Aryan Smith
A versatile weapon that can play both the outside and the hole, Jackson’s drive and toughness will not be easily replaced. Jackson also served as a key special teams player for the Bulldogs. Smith finally got a chance to show what he can do this season, as he gave it his all in the win against Ohio State. If he’s able to stay healthy and develop this off-season, that should make him an important contributor next season. If McConkey turns pro, expect Smith and Missouri transfer Dominic Lovett to see more picks, along with rookie sophomore Dillon Bell.
Related: Arian Smith’s game-changing touchdown sums up Georgia football in the coolest way possible
Tight end Darnell Washington
Substitute: Oscar Delp
Georgia really got a taste of life without Washington when he was knocked out of the Peach Bowl with an ankle injury. Delp filled in for him and got rave reviews from Washington and tight ends coach Todd Hartley. With Brock Powers being the only other tight end for Georgia, Delp has a chance to get a major role on offense next season. While it would be difficult to replace what Washington brought in from a blocking standpoint, Delp has more upside as a pass try on this offense.
Offensive tackle Broderick Jones
Alternate: Ernest Green
We think Georgia will keep Amarius Mims on the right side of the offensive line, allowing Green to take Jones’ place at left tackle. As a freshman, Green impressed in spring training last year, only to have his regular season derailed by a back injury. Greene told DawgNation at the national championship game that he would be ready for spring practice, which would help him get the cast needed to replace a potential first-round pick in Jones.
Offensive tackle Warren McClendon
Substitute: Amarios Mims
It is probably the easiest alternative on the list. Mims started the last two games of the 2022 season at right tackle and is expected to take over McClendon full-time in 2023. Mims apparently could also play left tackle as well for the Bulldogs, with Green moving to the right side.
Related: Georgia man Amarius Mims shares why he’s grown into an even bigger promising role
Warren Erickson Center
Substitute: Austin Blask
Like Ericson, Blaske has the knack for playing multiple points up front. His best shot of playing time is probably the position, especially with the talent Georgia is expected to bring back to guard positions. Blaske will battle Jared Wilson for two reps at the center. In the event that Van Pran moves to the NFL, this becomes one of the most important position battles for Georgia.
Defensive tackle Jalen Carter
Alternate: Bear Alexander
Alexander made a big statement in the national championship game, finishing with two tackles for loss and a sack for the Bulldogs. While he may not replicate what Carter brought to the team — no player can — Alexander has plenty of upside as an internal troublemaker. Carter was capable of playing all over the defensive line for Georgia, so no player would ever replace what he brought. Look for freshman Jordan Hall to take over some of the situational duties Carter had for Georgia, where he should have the ability to play both indoors and outdoors with the Bulldogs.
Outside linebacker Nolan Smith
Alternate: Chaz Chambliss
Smith thrived on doing the dirty work for this Georgia team, and he expects Chambliss to do the same for the Bulldogs next season. He’s not the most athletic option for Georgia, but his versatility on defense and special teams is something Georgia really appreciates. Georgia could also try putting Jalon Walker here, but so far the Bulldogs have shown a willingness to only use him for hasty situations in this situation.
Outside linebacker Robert Bell
Alternate: Marvin Jones Jr.
Jones Jr. will be one of the most important off-season players for the Bulldogs. He has a huge improvement but he was plagued by injuries during his first season. He will be counted on the important play for the Bulldogs this fall. Georgia signed three outside players in the 2023 recruiting cycle, and 5-star Damon Wilson was the best to help Georgia right away.
Cornerback Kelly Ringo
Alternate: Daelyn Everett
Ringo’s replacement battle has to be one of the most interesting fights to watch in the off-season. Georgia returns Kamari Lassiter to the other cornerback position, so the Bulldogs aren’t starting again like they were at the start of the 2021 season. Everett has consistently impressed coaches this season and has been the third-ranked running back at Georgia this year. But expect Nyland Green, Julian Humphrey and AJ Harris to push for that starting spot. All three will compete with Everett during spring training, with Daniel Harris and Chris Bell arriving this summer at the linebacker position.
Safety Chris Smith
Substitute: Javon Pollard
Georgia has a number of avenues it could pursue to replace Smith but there is no clear candidate. Dan Jackson returns to Georgia after suffering a foot injury during the 2022 season. David Daniel-Sisavanh got some looks late in the year at the dime pack at Georgia. Expectations will be high for freshman Jonel Aguero’s safety, especially after what the Starks’ Angels did this year. But we think Bullard is taking a long look at the safety position, with Tykee Smith taking some shots at the star position should Bullard make the move.
Related: Javon Pollard Explains Importance of In-State Recruitment to Georgia: ‘I Couldn’t Dream It That Big’
Kicker Jack Podelny
Substitute: Peyton Woodring
It will be a battle between freshman Woodring and 2020 signing Jared Zirkel for the kick spot this offseason. Woodring won’t arrive until the summer, which is supposed to give Zarkiel a chance to impress him. But Zirkel lost both kicking and running duties to Podlesny earlier in his career and we think Woodring’s upside is something that can’t be ignored. He made a 60-yard field goal as a high school senior.
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