What to expect from Newman in 2020
Newman has an incredible opportunity this season to highlight his talents in the significantly less-talented SEC in 2020. With three multi-season starting quarterbacks leaving for the NFL this past spring, Newman and the Georgia Bulldogs looks to be in a great position to push for an SEC Championship and maybe even a National Championship appearance. If Newman can keep the team winning this season, he’ll have an incredible vehicle to springboard in the 2021 NFL Draft discussion.
He’ll be joining a legendary head coach in Athens, who has consistently developed winning teams throughout his tenure as both a head coach and defensive coordinator. His coaching record at Georgia stands at 44-12 since 2016. The Bulldogs have finished the last three seasons first in the SEC East. Smart knows how to coach winners.
On top of that, Newman will have a significant bump in talent to work with on the offense. Georgia consistently fields excellent offensive lines. While this year’s offensive line in a bit of a mystery talent-wise, the right side of the offensive line looks great and will be able to keep pass-rushers at bay long enough to protect Newman on passing and play-action throws.
At the running back position, the Bulldogs will be bringing back two excellent running backs to work with Newman in the backfield. Zamir White averaged 5.2 yards per play in 2019 and his 6-foot frame will make him a headache to bring down this season. James Cook will likely play second fiddle to White at the running back position. But with 16 passing receptions in 2019, it will be interesting to see if Georgia uses Cook more often in the passing game.
Newman will have a troupe of solid wide receivers to throw to in 2020. George Pickens returns after an eight touchdown season in 2019, bringing in 727 receiving yards last year according to Sports Reference. On the outside, Demetris Robertson will serve as an explosive deep threat. He spent a lot of time in the slot last season, according to 247 Sports. But with the addition of new slot talent this offseason, we can expect Robertson’s talents to be better used in 2020.
Up and down the Georgia roster, there is talent. Exceptional college athletes that will give Newman a chance to shine at the most important position in college football. Delays in training due to COVID-19 won’t help Newman while preparing for the upcoming season. But if Newman can show demonstrable improvement in vertical-passing accuracy and clean up some of his timing issues, he can expect to be a household name in the 2021 NFL Draft community.
While the first quarterback to be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft has all but been written in stone, there isn’t a clear cut number two in the draft hierarchy. There are several competing for that spot, but all of them have serious issues with their game and hardly look like NFL-ready quarterbacks. If Newman can eclipse these players and make a strong showing in the 2020 season, there is no telling how high he could climb in the draft discussion next offseason.
If Newman and the Bulldogs can start the season off strong this September, expect to hear Newman mentioned often as a first round-caliber quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.