With Georgia consistently attracting top-three recruiting classes every year, talent builds up at each position and most often overshadows some of the former highly- touted prospects.
Edge rusher Adam Anderson was a player always overshadowed by the guys ahead of him on the depth chart. Despite leading UGA with 24 quarterback pressures and finishing second in sacks with 6.5, the junior edge rusher played second fiddle to the uber-talented Azeez Ojulari.
Ojulari locked down the JACK outside linebacker position for two seasons following the graduation of D'Andre Walker. Ojulari was a raw athlete who lacked in the overall size department in his freshman season, but built out his frame following the 2018 Sugar Bowl, where he made his debut and became Georgia's most effective pass rusher.
While expectations were not as high on a prospect like Azeez, who was coming to Athens as a four-star edge rusher out of Marietta, Ga., as they were for Anderson, it was Ojulari that captured the limelight in Athens. Now, with Ojulari off to the NFL, it's the former five-star Anderson that Georgia will call upon in 2021.
In 2020, Anderson combined with Ojulari to be the two most effective third-down pass rushers on the team. His bend and explosiveness at the point of attack are unmatched by any Bulldogs player on the roster. But it is his speed rush that intrigues NFL executives.
According to sources, Anderson has a legitimate chance to vault himself into first-round discussions this season. There are expectations from the program for a potential double-digit sack season, along with measurables at the NFL Combine that will be undeniable. According to sources, he is expected to measure in at around 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, run a 4.4 in the 40, and have a vertical over 38 inches. NFL executives will be blown away by the athletic profile of Anderson, but he has to match that profile with production this season.
Anderson was Georgia's trusted third-down pass rusher along with Ojulari and created questions about whether he can be a three-down linebacker for Georgia. While Ojulari was tremendous when getting off his block and getting after the quarterback, he could set the edge in the run game and be just as dynamic as a run defender.
Anderson has not seen too many snaps as a run defender. His ability to speed-rush without much hand-fighting is valuable for the Dawgs, but he will need to read plays and win one-on-ones with technique to help out as a rush defender.
With Nolan Smith and Travon Walker looking poised to take over the duties at JACK, Anderson may not see the field as much in running situations. That means NFL teams will need to see top-end production as a pass rusher to make up for the lack of run defense.
Leonard Floyd turned into a first-round pick after a successful career in the red and black as a pass rusher. Floyd's natural ability to get after the quarterback led to the Bears selecting the former Bulldogs edge rusher. Anderson brings many of the same attributes as Floyd and he will have to perform at the same level.
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