Dawgs Daily begins its defensive position group reviews with the edge rushers.
Georgia football won't have as much depth on the edge this season, but there is no shortage of talent. Going into the spring, the Bulldogs have three edge rushers they expect to rely on in 2021.
Outside Linebacker Depth Chart:
- Adam Anderson, Senior
- Nolan Smith, Junior
- Robert Beal, Senior
- MJ Sherman, Sophomore
- Chazz Chambliss, Freshman
Anderson is one of the more consistent pass rushers in the SEC. He was second on the team with 24 pressures and 6.5 sacks despite usually playing only on third downs. Anticipation is building surrounding Anderson in 2021 considering he is expected to receive a bigger role.
However, there are still some parts of his game Anderson needs to work on. He was the third-down rusher because he wasn't consistent enough as a run stopper to play more often. If Anderson can become consistent in those areas, he has All-America potential.
Smith is the opposite of Anderson. He still needs to improve as a pass rusher, but he is already solid in the running game. That's not to say Smith can't rush the quarterback; he ended 2020 with 20 QB pressures. He just needs to convert more of those pressures into sacks.
Sherman is the new face in Georgia's pass rush. With four players ahead of him on the depth chart, opportunities were scarce for the freshman. That's clearly not the case this year with Azeez Ojulari entering the draft and Jermaine Johnson transferring.
Without many snaps to break down from Sherman's freshman year, his high-school tape has to be examined to get an idea of what to expect from him. That tape is promising as Sherman showed an ability to rush the passer, set the edge in the running game and cover downfield.
How much of that translates to an elite level in the SEC remains to be seen, but Sherman clearly has a good foundation from which to develop.
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