Georgia Football: Is Tight End the Bulldogs' Weak Link on Offense?

Brian JonesContributor IJune 19, 2014

January 01, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs tight end Jay Rome (87) catches a pass in warm ups prior to the Capital One Bowl game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at The Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The offense for the Georgia Bulldogs has been strong the last two seasons, and despite losing Aaron Murray, they have a chance to be just as strong in 2014.

Hutson Mason has proved he can take control of the offense when needed. The running backs for Georgia led by Todd Gurley are reliable and have the ability to run past and over defenders. The receivers have speed, and they also have good hands. The offensive line does have question marks, but they are a group that can take over a game if they are all on the same page.

But if there’s one position on offense that’s a question mark, it would have to be the tight end position because the depth and the experience are not there.

The position took a big blow this week when Hunter Atkinson decided to quit football according to Gentry Estes of 247 Sports. Atkinson did not play a down for the Bulldogs because he was a newly signed player.

#UGA really liked Hunter Atkinson as a tight end and possibly a o-lineman depending on how he grew. Dawgs down to 4 scholarship TEs & Hicks

— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) June 18, 2014

Regardless, that leaves the Bulldogs with only three scholarship players, and they are Jay Rome, Jordan Davis and Jeb Blazevich, who is also a newly signed player.

So based on where the position is right now, the tight end position is a weak link on offense, but that could change during the early stages of the season if Rome turns out to be the player the coaches have hoped for.

Rome missed all of spring practice because he had to have a screw surgically inserted in his left foot.

Last year, Rome was a backup for Arthur Lynch, who was an All-SEC tight end. And while Lynch did a lot of good for the Bulldogs during his career, Rome has the potential to be a better overall player than Lynch because he’s bigger, stronger and faster.

But his issue with his foot has been ongoing, and the coaches don’t want to rush him back on the field because of it.

Nov 2, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs fullback Quayvon Hicks (48) during the first quarter against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

And this is also why the Bulldogs have made Quayvon Hicks as a hybrid tight end. Hicks’ natural position is fullback, but he has the hands and the blocking skills to be out on the edge as well.

Davis and Blazevich are in the same boat. Davis has a year on Blazevich, but both have not played a down for the Bulldogs.

Davis will see some action, but he will need one more year to be the dual-threat tight end the Bulldogs need in order to run their pro-style offense. Blazevich could redshirt, but it will depend on how Hicks comes along in his hybrid role.

The tight end position is normally a strength for the Bulldogs nearly every year. And the talent is there this season for it to be a strength again.

But the injury concerns of Rome and the zero experience of the other three tight ends on the roster make the position the weakest one on offense.