This Jake Fromm Watch is exhausting.
One day you’re certain Fromm will spend his senior season at Georgia, the best case for the Bulldogs’ prospects in 2020. Go ahead and order those SEC Championship game tickets.
The next you’re thinking he has broken his last huddle as Georgia’s quarterback, knowing in his heart that once the NFL gets an up-close gander at his intangibles, some team will not allow him to fall into the darker depths of the draft. It takes only one.
And then you beat yourself up a little for taking him for granted these past three seasons.
This back-and-forth sets a head to spinning, like watching a tennis point that never ends. Such lack of clarity concerning the most important position on this or any other team greatly unsettles.
The Fromm question currently overrides all else Georgia football. So, watching the Bulldogs on New Year's night, one sees every good throw as kind of a bad thing, another glowing reference on the man's resume. Like that Sugar Bowl touchdown to George Pickens, dropped into his arms as if quarterback and receiver were working opposite ends of the same laundry chute. If the NFL sees too many throws like that, it will require witness protection to keep Fromm from the league's clutches.
And every missed throw is another indication that Fromm really needs to stay and clean up what had been a season of slight regression.
There are just enough of both to keep the uncertainty on a low simmer.
For those certain that Fromm will stay to improve his draft position in 2021, consider that there are no guarantees he is going to rocket up the charts in a year when the likes of Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are eligible for the draft. Plus, his decision might hinge somewhat on the decision of Alabama's injured Tua Tagovailoa — if he comes out this season adding to the possibilities at the position, perhaps more reason for Fromm to stay put.
So many other factors at play.
To stay: That Pickens fellow seems like he might be an intriguing target in 2020, someone with whom a quarterback could build a mutually beneficial relationship. Georgia will no doubt be good again, its offensive line and its receiving corps replete with new talent. Remember that freshman season and the journey to the national championship game? Fun, wasn’t it?
Or to go: Fromm’s already started 42 games — 27 against SEC competition — along with three SEC Championship games, three New Year’s Six bowl games and one national championship game. Short of the elusive ultimate title, there is little left for Fromm to experience at this level.
Stay: Just wondering, would it help at all if Smart made some commitment to update his offensive underpinnings? Is there another Joe Brady-type out there he could import to freshen the Bulldogs’ passing attack as Brady did at LSU, and stoke Fromm’s imagination? The Bulldogs scoring fell off precipitously year over year (more than a touchdown a game less in 2019 than in ’18). Maybe Fromm would like to see if he could fix that.
Go: True, Fromm’s as sturdy as a post-office flagpole. But every unsalaried game he plays increases the chance of an injury threatening his earning power (see the aforementioned Tagovailoa).
And, c’mon, you think Fromm has any doubt about handling the challenges of the NFL? Look at his experience at Georgia, where he was knocking down all kinds of hotshot competition like bowling pins (and the gutter guards were in).
A couple of weeks remain before he absolutely has to declare for the draft. Finally, a decision looms, and here we haven’t done nearly enough research on D’Wan Mathis or Carson Beck to know what a future without Fromm might hold. What does a world with Stetson Bennett in play look like? When over three years you’ve grown accustomed to a player such as Fromm, the unknowns are particularly fretful.
And just think, if it’s this hard watching and waiting from the outside how agonizing it must be as the one actually making the call.