All eyes are naturally drawn to Georgia's high flying offense heading into 2021 with the belief that quarterback JT Daniels will lead a high-scoring offense with All-SEC caliber players at almost every skill position.
However, at some point, the Bulldogs will have to rely on what has made Georgia a top program for years under head coach Kirby Smart.
In today's day and age, championship offense will always triumph over championship defense, but teams still have to be able to come up with the critical stop when it is needed.
Many impact defensive players for the Bulldogs have moved on to the NFL. Here is the list of impact defenders from last season that are no longer with the team:
- Tyson Campbell, CB*
- Eric Stokes, CB*
- DJ Daniel, CB
- Richard LeCounte, S
- Azeez Ojulari, OLB*
- Monty Rice, ILB
- Malik Herring, DE
*Junior declaring early for 2021 NFL Draft
As a result of these departures, a few key defenders need to elevate their play to an elite level. While the overall personnel won't be as experienced as a season ago, they can still find success if two defensive linemen take that next step: Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis.
Pressure makes up for a lot of mistakes on the back end of a defense. Despite the evolution of the sport that forces offenses to spread out and throw the ball, blowing up the line of scrimmage is still priority No. 1. Carter and Davis project to be the best defensive line tandem in the SEC next season.
That goes a long way for a defense that is replacing so much experience and depth, particularly in the secondary.
Both Davis and Carter are pivotal defenders for Georgia, and their skill sets benefit one another.
Davis is the more experienced of the pair, playing three seasons for the Bulldogs. He has been the best run defender on the team during his time in Athens and sources say that this year he is putting an emphasis on rushing the passer. Georgia will need him to impact the game on all three downs defensively.
He could have been the No. 1 nose tackle selected in this draft class, but returns to be the unquestioned leader of the Georgia defense. He's a space-eater that forces offenses to direct attention to him on an every-down basis.
Carter may have the higher ceiling of the pair, which is scary considering how good Davis is. As a true freshman last year, Carter earned a starting role in the rotation and never looked back. He was a constant resident in the opponent's backfield.
He pairs an elite athletic skill set with a great motor. Carter pursues and punishes the ball-carrier at all times. Additionally, he's positionally versatile. He can line up from nose tackle to defensive end throughout a game.
In the passing game, he often overwhelms interior offensive linemen. If Davis can force teams to double-team him in passing situations, providing Carter a 1-on-1 with an athletically inferior offensive guard on a regular basis, it's going to result in havoc.
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