May 21, 2024

The NCAA transfer portal, NIL, and NFL-bound player opt-outs have collectively introduced a fresh era in college football. Roster unpredictability now characterizes teams outside the College Football Playoff as they approach bowl season. Even Georgia, omitted from the 2023 CFP, has not escaped this trend. Up until the Orange Bowl, 15 scholarship players from the 2023 roster have already made their way into the transfer portal. In the midst of this upheaval, the following is a forecasted depth chart for the Georgia offense as they head into the Orange Bowl clash against Florida State on December 30th.

Predicted Orange Bowl Offensive Depth Chart

Quarterback

#15 Carson Beck, 6′ 4″, 216, Redshirt Junior
#14 Gunner Stockton, 6′ 1″, 210, Redshirt Freshman

Carson Beck, despite not making an official announcement about his plans for the 2024 season, appears poised to participate in the Orange Bowl. Following Brock Vandagriff’s transfer to Kentucky, Redshirt Sophomore Gunner Stockton, who competed extensively during fall camp for the position of Georgia’s primary backup, will now step into the No. 2 role for the first time in his career.

WR, Dominic Lovett Catches a TD Vs Georgia Tech - Photo: Brooks Austin 

Playing as a running back is known to be one of the most physically challenging positions in football. This is why many draft-eligible players often choose to skip non-College Football Playoff (CFP) games. Despite this trend, both senior running backs for Georgia, #30 Daijun Edwards (5′ 10″, 201 lbs) and #2 Kendall Milton (6′ 1″, 220 lbs), are gearing up for their final appearance with the Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl. After Georgia’s loss in the SEC Championship Game, Kendall Milton expressed his clear intention to participate in the Orange Bowl. While Daijun Edwards hasn’t explicitly stated his plans, the expectation is that he will also be on the field against Florida State on December 30.

Tight End

  • #4 Oscar Delp, 6′ 5″, 225, So.
  • #7 Lawson Luckie, 6’3”, 240, Fr.

Recently crowned as a three-time All-American, Brock Bowers has yet to officially announce his decision regarding participation in the Orange Bowl. However, considering his high likelihood of being a top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL draft, there’s a strong possibility that Bowers will declare for the NFL and choose to sit out the Orange Bowl. In the event of his absence, Oscar Delp is poised to step into the starting tight end role, a position he successfully filled during games against Florida and Missouri while Bowers was recovering from a high ankle sprain. This shift would elevate Luckie to the No. 2 tight end position, providing him with valuable experience in preparation for the 2024 season.

Wide Receiver X

  • #1 Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, 6′ 2″, 195, Sr.
  •  #5, Rara Thomas, 6′ 2″, 200, Jr.

Due to injuries and the possibility of early NFL draft declarations, predicting the lineup for the receiver position in Georgia’s Orange Bowl matchup with Florida State is particularly challenging. Rara Thomas, who secured eight starts in the 2023 regular season, encountered a foot sprain that sidelined him for both Georgia’s regular-season finale against Georgia Tech and the SEC Championship Game. As his availability remains uncertain, the most reliable choice to start at the X receiver position for Georgia is likely to be senior Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint.

Wide Receiver Z

  • #86 Dillon Bell, 6′ 1″, 210, So.
  • #11 Arian Smith, 6′ 0″, 185, R-Jr.

With star WR Ladd McConkey’s status for the Orange Bowl still very much up-in-the-air due to both injury and potential early entry into the NFL draft, Bell – who caught 10 passes for 142 yards over Georgia’s last three games – becomes the most likely player to earn the start at the Z WR position against Florida State. 

ide Receiver Slot

  • #6 Dominic Lovett, 5′ 10″, 179, Jr.
  • #11 Arian Smith, 6′ 0″, 185, R-Jr.

Lovett served as Georgia’s primary slot WR throughout the 2023 season and is poised to do so again in the Orange Bowl. With the situation around McConkey still unclear and Mekhi Mews opting to enter the transfer portal, Arian Smith will likely be an option to play in the slot, as well. 

Left Tackle

  • #71 Earnest Greene III, 6′ 4″, 330, R-Fr
  • #57 Monroe Freeling, 6′ 7″, 310, Fr.

After starting all 13 games for Georgia at left tackle entering bowl season, Greene will make his first bowl start in the Orange Bowl. With Austin Blaske opting to enter the transfer portal, freshman Monroe Freeling will likely serve as Greene’s top backup.

Right Tackle

  • #73 Xavier Truss, 6′ 7″, 320, R-Sr.
  • #57 Monroe Freeling, 6′ 7″, 310, Fr.

While Amarius Mims has yet to make an official announcement regarding his Orange Bowl status, given that he is widely expected to be a first round draft pick in the 2024 NFL draft, it remains likely that the 6-foot-7, 340-pounder will opt-out of the Orange Bowl, which will lead to Xavier Truss making his seventh start of the season at left tackle.

Left Guard

  • #53 Dylan Fairchild, 6’5, 300, R.- So.
  • #56 Micah Morris, 6′ 6″, 330, R-So.

Injuries along the offensive line thrust Fairchild and Morris into more prominent roles in the Georgia offense with the duo forming a solid 1-2 punch at left guard. Fairchild, who has nine starts under his belt this season, will open the game at left guard, but Morris will see plenty of action, as well.

Right Guard

  • #69 Tate Ratledge, 6′ 6″, 315, R-Jr.
  • #56 Micah Morris, 6′ 6″, 330, R-So.

The possibility remains that Ratledge could declare for the NFL draft and opt-out of the Orange Bowl, but, at the moment, things seem to be trending towards him returning to Georgia for a final season in 2024. If that is, indeed, the case, the 2023 All-SEC First Team selection will make his 13th start of the season in the Orange Bowl.

Center

  • #63 Sedrick Van Pran, 6′ 4″, 310, R-Jr.
  • #55 Jared Wilson, 6′ 3″, 300, R-So.

With Van Pran already accepting an invite to the Reece’s Senior Bowl, it is clear that he will enter the NFL draft prior to Jan. 15 deadline to do so. However, given the leadership role that he has taken on at Georgia and knowing how he is built, I expect Van Pran to suit up for Georgia one final time in the Orange Bowl.

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