Georgia football: A quick look at the 2022 wide receiver room

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 25: Ladd McConkey #84 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball for a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first quarter at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 25: Ladd McConkey #84 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball for a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first quarter at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

The 2022 Georgia football wide receiver unit might be one of college football’s most talented wide receiver groups.

Which is quite a statement after losing George Pickens to the NFL and Jermaine Burton leaving to continue his college career in Tuscaloosa.

Those losses sting because they were highly talented, but Georgia fans should remember it was not detrimental to the team.

Sophomores Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell are a year wiser. The Dawgs signed a talented bunch of new signees, and fingers crossed a healthy group in 2022 — the Georgia Bulldogs are looking good at the wideout position.

Georgia football will see most of its receivers return for 2022.

Spring practice will be here before you know it, so to prepare for it, let’s deep dive into each position and discuss what the Dawgs have for 2022.

Georgia has 12 receivers and five tight ends on scholarship ready to compete for the Dawgs.

One of the best parts is there are only a couple of seniors in the entire group. Georgia may have lost some talent at this position, but those things happen. The good thing here is this group is young and already experienced.

The new kids on the block for Georgia football

Georgia football fans should be excited for the new class of wide receivers head coach Kirby Smart and his coaching staff signed this year.

Four-star Chandler Smith was the first of the new signees to commit. At 6-1 and 180-pounds, Smith won’t stand out from the crowd until he turns his jets on and zooms past them.

Smith is an absolute speed merchant. Per 247Sports, Smith has broken 10.3 secs over 100m and 21.0 over 200m which sets him out as one of the fastest in the 2022 class. This speed will make Smith an exciting prospect for Bulldog fans to watch this season.

De’Nylon Morrissette, also a 4-star, sets himself apart from the rest of the 2022 class with his size as he is 6-1 and 200-pounds.

Scouting reports consider Morrissette’s size mature for his age, and at this stage, with continued elite coaching, he is considered an NFL prospect.

Cole Speer came to Georgia as a 3-star in-state recruit out of Calhoun, Ga. He accumulated impressive stats in his junior year of high school — 19.6 yards per catch, with 59 catches for 1,159 yards 11 touchdowns.

Dillon Bell signed with the Dawgs during the February signing period. At 6-2 and 205-pounds, Bell is another player who excels after the catch, which should get Georgia fans on their feet this season.

Sophomore Superstars

If your crystal ball predicted the seasons that Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell had in their first years in Athens, I suggest you start predicting the lotto numbers.

McConkey and Mitchell played in all 15 games last season, with 60 receptions between them for 873 yards and nine touchdowns.

These results were no one-sided pairing as they would almost spookily contribute equally to these stats in the Bulldogs national championship-winning season. They are an impressive pairing of wide receivers.

Of course, in 2022, the phrase every freshman wants to avoid is that “sophomore slump” tag. While possible, Mitchell and McConkey showed more than enough to suggest that the Bulldog fans don’t have to worry about it with this duo.

Georgia football must keep its WRs healthy

The 2021 wide receiver room was highly talented but, for the most part, didn’t get the opportunity to demonstrate just how good due to being decimated by injures.

Both Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Dominick Blaylock missed spring practice due to nasty injuries. With only nine catches between Rosemy-Jacksaint and Blaylock in 2021, it is clear how much Georgia missed having them during the season.

Kearis Jackson underwent knee surgery, only completing 16 receptions for 194 yards — another blow for the wide receiver group. Arian Smith has the speed to worry any SEC defense but again struggled with injuries.

Let’s not forget about Jackson Meeks, who saw time on the field as a reserve wide receiver and special teams as a freshman. The experience of playing nine games in his first year on campus will stand him in good stead for the rest of his Georgia football career.

The surprise package in this group is Arik Gilbert, who transferred from LSU initially to Florida but subsequently to Georgia. However, Gilbert did not feature for the Bulldogs in 2021. It was positive to see Gilbert celebrate the national championship with his teammates making Dawgs fans optimistic that he will be available this season. Plus, the rumors are he is back enrolled in classes on campus and practicing in winter workouts.

Georgia football fans should be excited about the 2022 wideouts

Rather than be concerned about the replacement of Pickens and Burton, Georgia fans should be excited about this wide receiver group. The key to success will be to keep the experienced core fit and ensure the national championship stars  — McConkey and Mitchell don’t hit the sophomore slump. The new signees also give hope that the future at wide receiver is bright.

With Brock Bowers exploding onto the scene last year and the impact he made at tight end, the lack of depth at wide receiver wasn’t as noticeable because Georgia won the national championship without some of its best players. That feat makes the rise of McConkey and Mitchell that much more impressive.

With new signees who are fast and powerful and the “old guard” fit and healthy, Smart, offensive coordinator Todd Monken and new wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon do have an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver. The battle for starting roles over spring and fall camps should be fascinating to watch.

It’s a little early to predict who will start at wide receiver against Oregon — as much will happen before then — but I expect it’s a mix of the old and the new. Given the part they played in the championship run, Bowers, McConkey and Mitchell will likely get featured heavily.

Next. Georgia football: 3 important 5-stars to land in 2023 class. dark

Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett will once again have a group of fast, powerful, hungry and talented wide receivers that will make his job just a little easier.