The ranks of Georgia Bulldogs in 2016 NFL training camps appears to have swelled once again with the San Francisco 49ers' selection of offensive tackle John Theus in the fifth round. I believe Theus is a good pick for the 49ers who are looking to add players on the offensive front. The team has needs at both tackle and guard, and Theus brings the ability to play every position on the line with the possible exception of center. After picking up guard Joshua Garnett already, the Niners now will have two young guys who can potentially play guard. Theus won't be an every day left tackle in the NFL, but could well kick over to right tackle.
As we discussed earlier this week, John came to Athens as a highly recruited five star offensive tackle who many thought was ticketed to become a fixture at the left tackle spot. Ultimately, he struggled early to lock down that position and never really became the bellwether that some may have hoped.
Ultimately, I think a lot of those expectations were unreasonable from the get-go even for a player with Theus's potential. He spent his freshman and sophomore seasons matched with some of the better pass rushers in recent SEC memory. If you judge his Georgia career honestly, I think you have to come away with the impression that he did everything anyone could reasonably expect of a highly-touted high school offensive lineman. #71 started 48 games and played in every single contest during his tenure in Athens. That consistency is important up front, where chemistry plays an important role.
He ultimately developed into an all-SEC selection at tackle. It would have been interesting to see exactly how good the Ginger Defender (TM) could have been during his senior year had he not been hampered by a shoulder injury for most of it. Of course, Bulldog fans didn't know that Theus was playing in constant pain until after the season. That's the kind of guy he is, a team player whose attitude and smarts have always been an asset. No, John Theus does not have the quickest feet in this draft, nor does he have the longest arms. His upper body strength could be better as well. But no one picking offensive linemen in the fifth round is looking for some sort of Adonis. They are looking for guys who can come to work every day, fill a role, and get better each time out. John Theus can do that for San Francisco.