Georgia has a lot of talent to replace on the defensive side of the football going into 2013. With the Georgia spring game having just ended and the 2013 NFL draft only a few weeks away, let’s take a look at who might replace the Bulldogs potential first round draft picks.
Big John Jenkins, AKA Motel 6, has clogged up the middle of the Georgia defense for the last two years. He showed flashes of being an excellent player and overall did a good job for Georgia. The biggest issue Georgia has here is that his back-up, Kwame Geathers, made the decision to forgo his senior season and is also turning pro. That leaves Georgia with an inexperienced replacement.
Mike Thornton is a rising junior and he’ll probably get the first crack at the job but he’s about fifty pounds less than Jenkins. Jonathon Taylor (6’4, 325) red-shirted last season and will also be in the thick of things.
Georgia got another boost on the DL with a late JUCO commitment from DT Toby Johnson in February. He’s ESPN’s 4th ranked JUCO prospect and Georgia is looking to line him up mostly at DE but move him inside when they play the nickel.
Georgia also brought in two early enrollees in John Atkins (Hargrave Military Academy) and Chris Mayes (JUCO) that could contribute at this position. Mayes had an exceptional spring and looked strong in the spring game.
This is a pivotal position for Georgia and ultimately I would expect the Bulldogs to go with two or three guys here and switch them out keeping a fresh guy on the field at all times.
Jarvis Jones was one of the best players in college football last season and he will be tough to replace but I love the guy who will be replacing him. Jones will be replaced by Jordan Jenkins.
Replacing Tree will be tough because not only will Georgia have to replace Tree but they will also have to replace two other ILBs in Christian Robinson and Michael Gilliard. Overall, that’s three of the top eleven tacklers.
Amarlo Herrera does return at ILB and he will be an impact player as a junior (70 tackles as a sophomore last year). But who will play next to Herrera? That’s the question.
Rising junior Ramik Wilson will probably get the first look but we might end up seeing a young guy like early enrollee Ryne Rankin (Scout.com MLB #38) or incoming freshman Tim Kimbrough (Scout.com’s MLB #5), Reggie Carter (Scout.com’s MLB #9) or Johnny O’Neal (Scout.com’s MLB #11) get significant playing time.
Like NT, this could be a position where we see a revolving door of talent until Georgia gets the right fit alongside Herrera and it might end up being a situational spot with different guys taking the field depending on down and distance. I like the talent at this position for Georgia but the experience is definitely a question-mark.
Based on the recent spring game, Jenkins, Herrera and Wilson were the Georgia starters at linebacker and will be a formidable trio at the position this season.