Wednesday, May 29, 2024

2024 NFL Draft: Georgia star tight end Brock Bowers declares as potential top-five pick

Georgia star tight end Brock Bowers will forego his remaining eligibility and declare for the 2024 NFL Draft, he announced on social media Tuesday. The two-time John Mackey Award winner’s final collegiate season was limited by an ankle injury. He elected to sit out of Georgia’s 63-3 win over No. 5 Florida State in the Orange Bowl to cap the year. 

“Words cannot describe how thankful I am for what these last three years has brought,” Bowers’s social media statement read. “It has been an unbelievable honor and privilege to play for this university. It has given me memories that will last a lifetime. … It has been such an awesome ride. With that being said, I will officially be declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft.”

Bowers is projected to be a surefire first round selection and is ranked as the top-ranked tight end and the No. 4 overall draft prospect according to CBS Sports. Bowers appeared in 10 games this season and recorded 56 catches for 714 yards and six touchdowns. He finished his Georgia career with 175 catches for 2,538 yards and 26 touchdowns. 

Bowers was an integral part of Georgia’s national title teams in both 2021 and 2022. 

Bowers’ draft stock

Bowers is the consensus No. 1 tight end available on CBS Sports’ 2024 NFL Draft and one of only two (along with Ohio State’s Cade Stover) players at the position ranked in the top 100. Bowers is the No. 4 overall player available behind Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., USC quarterback Caleb Williams and Penn State offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu.

CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards projected Bowers to the Los Angeles Chargers with the No. 6 pick in his latest mock draft. 

“Los Angeles continues stocking the offensive skill talent with the addition of Brock Bowers,” Edwards wrote. “Quentin Johnston could not be relied upon as a rookie and Mike Williams is coming back off an injury.”

What it means for Georgia

Replacing one of the best players in program history will be no easy task for Georgia, but the Bulldogs did experience what life would be like without the star tight end when he missed some time due to an ankle injury. Bowers is a reliable target in the passing game and his blocking helped anchor the Georgia run game the last three years. 

Georgia reserve tight end Oscar Delp is the current top candidate to replace Bowers as the Bulldogs starter in 2024. Delp  caught 24 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns in a reserve role in 2023. Although the transfer portal could be an option to replace Bowers, the Bulldogs may have to wait until the next window opens if they go that route. Most of the top tight end entrants from the spring window have already settled on their next school at this point. 

The Bulldogs are better off trying to develop via high school recruiting. Bowers was a four-star recruit coming out go high school that didn’t play his senior season due to COVID-19. He burst onto the scene as a true freshman and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the 2021 championship game against Alabama. Georgia signed four-star tight end Jaden Reddell in its top-ranked 2024 recruiting class and he could be a potential option to replace Bowers at some point.

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