State of the position: Georgia returns all five starters on the offensive line from this past season, including seniors Dallas Lee at left guard and Chris Burnette at right guard. Starting left tackle Kenarious Gates played a good amount at the left guard spot when Burnette was hurt, with Lee and others filling in at right guard position. Mark Beard, while listed by Georgia as a guard, has actually played more as at left tackle. His emergence at tackle could find Gates moving inside. Watts Dantzler and Austin Long are getting more repetitions during the bowl practices, with Lee’s guard spot being highly contested. Greg Pyke took a redshirt and will fight for a spot as well.
Pros: “Cardiello uses his size and playing strength to dominate as a run blocker. He comes off the ball low and hard with a flat back. He uses his initial quickness to gain an immediate advantage and is capable of consistently knocking defenders off the ball with his explosive pop and surge on contact. He rolls his hips and puts defensive linemen back on their heels. He gets out of his stance quickly when pulling and can reach and gain leverage on offset defensive linemen while showing the ability to consistently get a hat on active first- and second-level defenders. Cardiello is a tough customer who finishes blocks with a dominating, nasty attitude. He possesses the physical and technical ability to make all the run blocks at the next level.” -- ESPN scouting report
Cons: “Although we see good initial punch, location and extension, all areas of hand use will need refinement. If a redshirt year isn't deemed necessary, Cardiello could provide early depth and eventually compete for starting time early on at the BCS level of play.”-- ESPN scouting report
Similar to/potential role: Chris Burnette. Smart on the field and off it, Cardiello will be an asset on the line with brawn and his brains. He played a good bit of defense this season and learned the techniques and tendencies of defensive linemen, all in an effort to more easily thwart them.
Expected impact: 2014. It is doubtful that Cardiello will be needed at guard as Georgia has two returning seniors holding those spots and a number of challengers who could easily step into the starting roles. A redshirt year would give Cardiello a chance to fill out his large frame and master a rather complex offense.