Georgia football: It’s just getting started for Brock Bowers

Nov 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers (19) scores a touchdown against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers (19) scores a touchdown against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

As a true freshman, Georgia football tight end Brock Bowers burst onto the scene in 2021, quickly cementing himself as a fan favorite.

His numbers stacked up well across the board, racking up the third-most receiving yards in the country for tight ends. His 13 touchdowns led all tight ends and tied for sixth-most overall.

Bowers was Georgia’s receiving leader, accumulating 882 yards and 13 touchdowns on his way to being recognized as the SEC Freshman of the Year. He was not a finalist for the John Mackey Award for the most outstanding tight end — an egregious snub considering his performance in 2021.

Georgia football fans should be excited to see what Bowers can do in the coming seasons with that kind of production as a true freshman.

The looming concern currently revolves around his injury status. Bowers played through a torn labrum toward the end of the Dawgs’ championship run and underwent surgery to repair the injury once the season ended. Bowers will miss spring ball as he recovers from the surgery but is expected to be ready for fall camp.

This development could benefit the Dawgs in the long run, as incoming freshman tight end Oscar Delp will absorb more reps during the spring with Bowers sidelined. With Delp getting early reps and experience, that tight end tandem should be even more fun to watch once Bowers returns to the field.

As far as toughness goes, playing through an injury to that extent speaks volumes about Bowers. Intangibles like that, coupled with his elite athleticism, are solid indicators of what he could become.

When it comes to sheer numbers, Bowers’ production going forward will depend on Georgia’s offense. He remains the best offensive weapon on the team, but the Dawgs’ offense would not exactly be described as an air raid system.

Bowers will continue to improve and produce with the opportunities he gets, but putting up gaudier numbers than what he had in 2021 is not a guarantee. Regardless, he is one of the most versatile weapons in the country and will be a problem for defenses any time he is on the field.

NFL draft scouts are already salivating at what he could bring to the table. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Bowers’ 4.5 40 time puts him in the conversation with other notable tight ends — George Kittle and Noah Fant.

Another name that gets thrown around when mentioning Bowers is Kyle Pitts. Whether the comparison gets based on merit or recency bias depends on who you talk to — it’s an interesting one to analyze nevertheless.

Pitts measures in at 6-foot-6 and 247 pounds, so his build is slightly bigger than Bowers. His 40 time was also slightly faster, clocking in at 4.44 seconds. This freak-of-nature archetype helped him become the highest-drafted tight end ever in the NFL after being selected fourth overall by the Falcons.

The major talking point regarding this comparison lies within the stats of both players. Though the stats were very similar, Bowers posted more catches, yards and touchdowns as a freshman than Pitts did during his standout junior season at Florida.

This comparison is where context comes into play for both sides of the comparison.

While Bowers’ stats were better, he played in 14 total games in 2021 compared to Pitts only in eight due to injury. Acknowledging this doesn’t diminish Bowers’ production in any way. It just provides some perspective into the incredible pace that Pitts was on in 2020.

On the flip side, however, Bowers was not afforded the luxury of the same type of high-volume passing offense that Pitts was.

Florida averaged 39.4 pass attempts and 378.6 passing yards per game, with Kyle Trask at quarterback in 2020. In comparison, Georgia averaged just 27.1 pass attempts and 251.9 passing yards per game with the combination of JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett at quarterback.

That high-volume passing offense contributed to Pitts producing the stats that he did in a smaller amount of games. Still, the fact that Bowers’ production as a true freshman was comparable at all is a testament to the type of player he is and will continue to be for the Dawgs.

Contrary to what some Florida fans believe, the Pitts comparisons are not bad or insulting. When a player is as impactful as Pitts was for Florida and the tight end position, he becomes the standard for other elite players.

Bowers isn’t Pitts and won’t be. His game is a bit more well-rounded in terms of what is traditionally expected from tight ends, whereas Pitts excels as more of a receiver.

The reality is Georgia gets to enjoy the services of a surefire future first-round NFL draft pick at a position that has been criminally under-utilized in recent memory.

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As referenced in a previous article from the early stages of the 2021 season, Bowers gave fans reason to hope that he would set a new standard for the tight end position at Georgia.

With just one season under his belt, it looks like he already has.