Countdown to Fall Camp: Tight Ends

Georgia's 2005 season opens soon – the Bulldogs start their camp on August 5 – so here is a look at Georgia's situation at tight end.

2004 Starter: Leonard Pope (10 games started, 26 receptions, 503 yards, 6 touchdowns)

Pope will start again in 2005 and senior Martrez Milner (2 games started, 5 receptions, 92 yards, 0 touchdowns) will likely play healthy amounts as well. Pope's emergence in the Georgia offense will get him plenty of attention from NFL. Pope is a likely first or second round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft; he will not return to Georgia for his senior season.

D.J. Shockley will use Pope, who many consider the best tight end in the country, as a crutch when the wide receivers are not as productive as the team might like. Using Pope down the middle of the defense will allow Georgia's offense to keep rolling even if the receivers are struggling. Georgia's offensive line is such that Pope won't need to provide pass protection – that will free him up to catch the ball down the field.

Pope will be the Bulldogs' number one target around the end zone next season. If he is able to produce the same way he did at the end of 2004 the Bulldogs will have a well balanced offensive scheme. One of the SEC's tallest players, Pope is almost un-defendable in the redzone.

Milner certainly has the body for the NFL, but his game is not yet where it needs to be and he will be overshadowed by Pope in 2005. Milner's potential on special teams should be realized this fall.

Trahern Holden, the most slender of the tight ends, has great fundamentals. Holden has the ball skills necessary to perform well in the Georgia offense, but he is buried behind Milner and Pope the same way Coleman Watson is. Watson has been the dark horse in the tight end practices for some time. Watson and Holden are quality tight ends. Watson has been moved around a little, but tight end is the position for him. Both provide give tight end the most depth of all the positions on the squad.

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