Georgia Football: Losing WR Malcolm Mitchell Not a Big Deal for the Bulldogs

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterApril 5, 2013

Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell
Georgia WR Malcolm MitchellSam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Georgia Bulldogs were five yards away from toppling Alabama, winning the SEC Championship Game and playing for the BCS National Championship last season. 

While the Bulldogs are working to replace an All-Star cast from last year's defense, the offense has remained pretty much intact minus the graduation of leading receiver Tavarres King.

That offense took a hit on Thursday when wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus, according to Mitchell suffered the injury in Saturday's scrimmage, and should be ready to go when preseason camp starts later this summer.

It's concerning on the surface. After all, Mitchell has hauled in 85 passes for 1,237 yards and eight touchdowns in his first two seasons between the hedges; and losing your star wide receiver for any amount of time isn't ideal.

But it's only on the surface.

Mitchell is a known commodity, and as long as he is ready for the season, the Bulldogs will be in good shape. 

The 6'1", 192-pounder has star written all over him, and should benefit from spending the entire offseason focusing on offense instead of defensive back. 

Georgia wraps up its spring session on Saturday. Even though Mitchell won't be a part of the spring game festivities, he has practiced all spring at wide receiver, as opposed to last season when he was moved to cornerback to help out Georgia's suspension-riddled secondary.

Despite playing the first four games primarily on defense, he caught 40 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns for the Bulldogs in 2012. That's pretty solid, especially for a player who made the transition back to offense on the fly.

Don't worry about Mitchell. He'll be fine, and shine in this offense in 2013. 

It's the other weapons in the passing game that need to be the focus.

Can Michael Bennett recover from last season's ACL injury? Will Chris Conley continue to improve? Will tight end Arthur Lynch be the same kind of threat he was down the stretch last season? Those are the biggest questions facing Georgia's receiving corps. 

If it can answer just one or two of those, it may be enough for the Bulldogs to break through that glass ceiling and win its first SEC Championship Game since 2005.