A week after being named among the nine semifinalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the best tight end in college football, junior Darnell Washington and sophomore Brock Bowers provided another reminder of just how talented the tight end room is at Georgia.
Pro Football Focus said on Wednesday that Washington is No. 3 among all tight ends in college football with an 86.9 overall grade this season. Bowers, meanwhile, is No. 5 among college tight ends with an 84.8 overall grade.
Washington has nine starts in 10 games this season, making 24 catches for 392 yards and a touchdown. He is second among tight ends with 16.3 yards per catch. In 31 career games, Washington has 22 career starts, making 41 catches for 712 yards and two touchdowns while showingcasing himself as one of the premier blockers in the country.
In 10 starts this season, Bowers has 39 catches for a team-leading 615 yards and four touchdowns, along with four carries for 89 yards and three touchdowns. He is third among FBS tight ends in receiving yards and yards per reception and tied for second among tight ends in touchdowns scored. Bowers has been named SEC Offensive Player of the Week twice this season and was named SEC Freshman of the Week twice in 2021.
In 2021, when Bowers was snubbed for the Mackey Award, he was named to the Associated Press All-America Second Team, the USA Today and ESPN All-America First Team, the Coaches’ SEC Freshman of the Year, the AP SEC Newcomer of the Year, the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year, and the 247Sports Freshman of the Year. Playing in all 15 games and making 13 starts, he made 56 catches for 882 yards and 13 touchdowns, all single-season program records for a tight end, with the 13 touchdown catches also being a program record for any pass catcher. His 10 receptions in the SEC Championship game set a record for tight ends in that game. He also had four carries for 56 yards and a touchdown.
“The tight end position has evolved in the NFL therefore it has trickled down to high school and college offenses,” Kirby Smart said of Bowers in Sept. “But it’s really about who the guy is, right? It’s not like everybody wants to just say ‘well the tight ends are being used more’. Well, if you got a tight end that runs 4.5 (40 -yard dash), then you know he presents a viable option. It’s a threat in the passing game. If he’s physical and tough enough to block and block on the perimeter, you give me any player that 235 pounds and can run 4.5’s we’ll find a way to use him. I think that has a lot to do with his (Bowers) skill set.”
The John Mackey Award will be named on Dec. 8 at the Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.
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