Analysis Opinion

Texas vs Georgia: Who has had the better NFL players?

It was The Checkdown on Twitter that asked a good question. Who wins in a battle of football players from the states of Texas and Georgia? Patrick Mahomes and Mecole Hardman engaged in a friendly debate about the issue. Both states bring so much talent to the table that Grant Morse and I decided to break it down by position to come to our answer. Our only criteria for these players is they have to have been born and raised in their respective states.

I’m starting this breakdown with the cornerstone of every NFL team, the head coach. The best coach in NFL history from Texas is the long time face of the Dallas Cowboys, Tom Landry. For Georgia, that coach is Dan Reeves. Both men have two Super Bowl victories, but Landry has 60 more career wins than Reeves.

Verdict: Texas

Next position is the most important position in the sports world, the quarterback. The top three quarterbacks we determined from Texas are Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and some guy named Patrick Mahomes. I tried to get Chase Daniel on this list, but Grant overruled me there. Those three go head to head with the Georgia trio of Cam Newton, Fran Tarkenton and Deshaun Watson. Brees holds just about every passing record there is and Mahomes has had the greatest start in NFL history.

Verdict: Texas

One of the closest battles between the states comes at the wide receiver position. Texas brings names like Dez Bryant, Tim Brown, Lance Alworth and Mike Evans to the table. While Georgia has Calvin Johnson, Tyreek Hill, Demaryius Thomas and Willie Gault. This is more of an old school vs new school vibe. Texas wins the old school with Brown and Alworth but the new school is all Georgia with Johnson and Hill. Texas wins in stats due to their longevity, but it’s hard to looks past Megatron and a cheetah. But then I saw a jet fly overhead and remembered the cherry on top for Georgia, Mecole Hardman.

Verdict: Georgia

The tight end position is likely the weakest for both states. Texas tops out with Jermichael Finley and Riley Odoms. Georgia brings Randy McMichael and Henry Childs to the matchup. The numbers between the groups are nearly identical overall and in old school vs new. Childs is in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame though, which gives Georgia a nudge that Texas doesn’t get.

Verdict: Georgia

Running backs finish up the skill positions and this is a pretty one-sided battle. Texas brings Adrian Peterson, Erick Dickerson, Earl Campbell and LaDainian Tomlinson to the matchup. Meanwhile, Georgia brings Jim Brown, Herschel Walker, Marion Motley and Jamaal Lewis. Brown speaks for himself and the other three Georgia men are some very good players with great moments. But they can’t compete with Texas in this matchup. Peterson, Dickerson, Campbell and Tomlinson are in the top 10 list of all time running backs in league history. Those four could beat out the top 4 from the rest of the country.

Verdict: Texas

The competition between the states really heats up when you get to the big men in the trenches. It starts with the tackle position. Texas brings Jason Peters, Trent Williams, Forrest Gregg and Richmond Webb. They match up against the Georgia lineup of Terry Allen, Tony Jones, Harris Barton and Rayfield Wright. Wright and Gregg are both Hall of Famers, but Texas holds the fort with the new generation of Jason Peters and Trent Williams. They have more Pro Bowls between the two of them than all the Georgia players combined.

Verdict: Texas

We slide down the line to the guards. In one corner is the Texas squad of Gene Upshaw, Roberto Garza, Brian Waters and Leonard Davis. In the other, from Georgia is Larry Little, John Hannah, Guy McIntyre and Kent Hill. Georgia brings two Hall of Famers to this match up with Little and Hannah. Texas only has one Hall of Famer in Upshaw, but we all know Waters should be in Canton! This really comes down to the advantage in All Pro, Pro Bowl and Super Bowls that McIntyre and Hill have over Davis and Garza.

Verdict: Georgia

The centers finish up the offensive side of the ball in a pretty lopsided match up. Georgia brings Jeff Saturday and Kevin Mawae while Texas matches with Bulldog Turner and Andre Gurode. If we were going off names this would be a runaway for Texas with an offensive lineman named Bulldog. Unfortunately, it’s on the field and there is no comparing the careers of these two squads.

Verdict: Georgia

On to the defensive side of the ball and remaining in the trenches, we start with the defensive line. Defensive tackle is another one-sided affair. Texas has “Mean” Joe Green, John Randle, Bob Lilly and Steve “Mongo” McMichael. Georgia brings Rosey Grier, Marcus Stroud, Gary Walker and Otis Sistrunk. The Georgia players are all solid guys, and Stroud is a new guy who has been dominant for years. But, I am not picking against guys named Mean and Mongo. McMichael was one of the Four Horseman for crying out loud.

Verdict: Texas

We slide out to the defensive ends and a more competitive matchup. Michael Strahan, Jared Allen, Dexter Manley and Myles Garrett are a great group from Texas. Georgia counters with Cameron Heyward, Robert Mathis, Richard Dent, and Bill Stanfill. Strahan and Dent are Hall of Famers. Heyward and Allen are likely to join them in the near future. Garrett is the young pup of the group, but he’s a top rusher in the league and nobody swings a helmet like him. Strahan, holding the record for most sacks in a season, is a big feather in the Texas cap with this group.

Verdict: Texas

Inside linebacker is the next group up and Texas comes out swinging with Mike Singletary, Derrick Johnson and Zack Thomas. Georgia responds with Jessie Tuggle, Thomas Davis and Keith Brooking. All six of these players are household names. Their careers are littered with Pro Bowls and All Pros. I would love to be a complete homer here and say Texas wins because of an all-time Chiefs great in Johnson. But there is no debate in this group because it comes down to the state with, “A guy likes this kind of party!” If you don’t automatically think of NFL Films with that last sentence, please hand in your NFL fan card.

Verdict: Texas

Both of these groups of outside linebackers are good enough to keep any quarterback awake for days. From Texas we have Von Miller, Jesse Armstead, and Ken Harvey. Justin Houston, Bud Dupree, and Mo Lewis are bringing the heat off the edge from Georgia. Dupree is a young star with a bright future in the NFL, but Texas is bringing some heavy heat here. They out sack Georgia by over 40 sacks.

Verdict: Texas

We’ve had enough of the big guys. Let’s get back to some speed with the cornerbacks. Georgia comes in fast with Champ Bailey, Mel Blount and Darius Slay. Texas counters with Dick “Night Train” Lane, Mel Renfro and Emmitt Thomas. This is a close matchup as five of the six players are in the Hall of Fame with the active player Slay being the odd man out. Texas had the early lead with their list of greats from the Golden Age. But, Georgia deserves respect for staying relevant generation after generation.

Verdict: Georgia

We come to the end of our position breakdown with the last line of defense, the safeties. In the Texas corner, we have Earl Thomas, Jamal Adams and Ken Houston. In the Georgia corner, we have Eric Berry, Reshad Jones, and Antoine Bathea. I know Chiefs Kingdom is screaming for Georgia in this one; especially, Berry the Chief vs Thomas, the man who bailed on the Chiefs. But, like Georgia with corners, Texas has a Hall of Famer from the past, a Hall of Famer in the near future and one of the best young safeties in the league.

Verdict: Texas

This has been a close matchup from top to bottom. Texas has a big advantage with history. They have been a football powerhouse since the early years of the sport. We’ve all heard the quotes for years that in Texas the boys all play football and the girls are all football cheerleaders. However, Georgia has been made up significant ground in the last 15 to 20 years. Guys like Hill, Hardman, Slay and Dupree are doing their best to close the gap. It will be tough when you have Mahomes, but Georgia is definitely closing the gap.

Overall Verdict: Texas

 

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