The last few weeks have been quite hectic and I realize I've been completely absent on the blog. With that said, I think I've finally come to a manageable part of the semester where I can give you guys all of the information you deserve. I hope most of you know that the MLB playoffs are underway, which means there would usually be some exciting news to talk about. There is, however, a noticeable absence of Georgia Tech pros this year, and that may be a good thing. This season was a rough one for nearly every Yellow Jacket, and a long offseason will help them out tremendously. Since there's little to discuss in baseball and the NBA has just started its preseason, I'll keep this post strictly about the NFL and how the pros have performed through the first 6 weeks of the season.
If I had asked everyone at the beginning of the season who they thought would have the best year out of Georgia Tech's pros, most of you would have said Calvin Johnson and a few might have mentioned Demaryius Thomas. Six games into the regular season though, and Calvin Johnson has struggled to stay healthy and perform to the record setting level he did last year. Demaryius has responded like most people expected however, racking up over 500 receiving yards to date. The arrival of Wes Welker and emergence of Knowshon Moreno have opened up the field for him and he's been Peyton Manning's main deep threat again. There is a very real chance that Thomas ends up leading the NFL in receiving yards at the end of the season.
Perhaps the best performer so far is also one of the front runners for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Daryl Smith was an afterthought in free agency after his 2012 season was wasted due to a groin injury. The Jaguars decided not to pursue the veteran linebacker(I'm not happy about that decision), and he chose to fill a starting spot for the Baltimore Ravens. Now that he's healthy, he's been an absolute force next to Terrell Suggs and is making plays all over the field. If the Ravens offense can figure out their issues, Daryl Smith and the Ravens defense will lead them to the playoffs.
Continuing with the defensive side of the ball, Michael Johnson and Derrick Morgan are both feared pass rushers off the edge. Both had successful 2012 seasons and were primed for big 2013 seasons. Neither has started the season off as expected though, which is surprising given how their respective teams are playing. I don't expect this trend to continue, but Johnson needs to pick up the pace since he will be a free agent this offseason.
Through the first 6 games of the season, Stephen Hill has been the number one wide receiver option for Geno Smith and the Jets. He routinely flashes a few times each game, but has yet to put it all together. He's currently on pace for respectable numbers(800 receiving yards), but he needs to step his game up if the Jets want to be more than a 6 or 7 win team. He was able to come down with this catch Sunday though, so props to you Stephen.
Those are just a few of the players in the league right now for Georgia Tech. Some have still been relegated to third string duties (Dwyer, Choice) while others have started and been solid. Guys like Morgan Burnett, Vance Walker, and Philip Wheeler routinely make the right plays and do their jobs, but have yet to make a legitimate difference for their teams. As the season goes on, I'll give weekly updates. This was purely a summation of how the season has started for a few of the players and where their seasons are currently headed.
How do you feel everyone has started this year? Who do you think will finish the year off strong?