Georgia Football: Inside Linebacker Depth Chart Review
As you might know, the University of Georgia's defense was pretty darn good last year. They allowed just 12.5 PPG, the fewest of any Georgia team since 1981. Safe to say the game has changed a bit since then too. If you were to argue last season's defense is the best Georgia's ever had, there's statistical evidence that would back that up.
Sure, Georgia lost a starter at every level of the defense. Tyler Clark is gone from the defensive line, Tae Crowder is gone from the inside linebackers group, and J.R. Reed is gone from that defensive backs group. Certainly, all three of those players will be missed. However, in the case of the linebacker position, you could make the argument they will be receiving an upgrade.
The inside linebacker spots are all but sewn up, but we are going to take a look at the depth chart anyway, starting with the leader of the defense, Monty Rice.
*For the reader questioning which backer is which — the MIKE or the WILL — it's simple. When a team goes empty, the backer that leaves the box is the WILL.
Monty Rice managed to lead the team in tackles last year despite not being on the field for the majority of third downs. Nakobe Dean would be inserted into the game and No. 32 would runoff. Think about that. He played fewer snaps than almost any starter on the defense, yet he led the team in tackles. It's that kind of run-stuffing capability that led the Georgia defense to a historic year.
There's no question whether or not Monty Rice will be the starter and leader of the Georgia defense in 2020. The only real question is, will someone spare him on third and longs again? Or will he remain on the field?
Projected Depth Chart:
- Monty Rice
- Channing Tindall
- Nate McBride
The WILL linebacker handles the majority of the coverage duties for Georgia's linebacking crew, and if there's ever a linebacker that may have to venture outside the box, it's the WILL who does so. Tae Crowder manned this position and now, he will hand it over to Nakobe Dean. Dean is an exceptional athlete and is the prototypical sideline to sideline linebacker that is required in the modern game of football.
It didn't take long for Nakobe Dean to flash on the field last season either. He's a constant around the ball and he is set for a huge sophomore season in 2020. We've compared him to Roquan Smith in the past, and though those are extremely lofty expectations, he's capable of becoming that good. He has the ability to rush the passer as a blitzer — something Smith did exceptionally well in college — and his coverage skills are what made Lanning and Smart want him on the field on third and longs.
Projected Depth Chart:
- Nakobe Dean
- Quay Walker
- Trezmen Marshall
Surely Georgia will rotate it's linebackers a little bit, as they do with all of their positions apart from the quarterback. However, we here at the Bulldog Maven believe that Rice and Dean will remain on the field most of the time. They are simply too good to come off.
130 tackles between the two of them in 2020 is by no means out of reach.
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