Georgia’s 2021 Defense was one, if not the, best defense in the College Football Playoff Era. Jordan Davis’ decision to return for his senior season was celebrated by fans as he became the public face for the Defensive Unit. He along with Nakobe Dean, Travon Walker, Devonte Wyatt and Lewis Cine are some of the Dawgs who are expected to get their names called early in the 2022 NFL Draft. Departing with them are over 7,600 snaps and 500+ tackles. 2022 Defense will be anchored by Jalen Carter, Kelee Ringo, and senior DB Chris Smith. Smith and Ringo bookended the season scoring the first and last touchdowns of the season.
Working on the Defensive side of the ball... but here is a screenshot of the guys' stats from 2020/2021 that @KirbySmartUGA will have to replace with a new DC. 7,600+ snaps....500+ tackles a LOT of DGDs on here...... pic.twitter.com/MyeOPWcDWx— Dawg Stats (@Dawg_Stats) April 13, 2022
Smart and new co-defensive coordinator, Glenn Schumann, have plenty of to work with in 2022. Chris Smith has logged over 1,000 snaps. Kelee Ringo played opposite Derion Kendrick at corner and played almost 800 snaps. Add Tykee Smith and Jalen Carter, and the Dawgs D has 4 legit experience starters in both the front 7 and secondary. Not to mention, Zion Logue, Tramel Walthour, and William Poole who each played snaps in reserve and the Dawgs have over 5,000 snaps collectively.
Chris Smith and Kelee Ringo both earned PFF grades in the 70’s and certainly Jalen Carter’s and Nolan Smith’s PFF defensive grade of 85.4 and 84.6 jump out at you. Especially when you see their improved grades from 2020. Also noteworthy is that Tykee Smith’s scored an 82.2 his last year at West Virginia. William Poole figures to be a big contributor in the secondary and played important snaps in the playoff after a rough SEC Championship. One would expect him to show out on Saturday.
Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith return 13 sacks and 75 QB pressures on just over 700 pass rush snaps. Added Kelee’s sack to this for fun... Carter’s 90 pass rush grade was good for 12th among Power 5 teams. He is poised and being hyped to have a monster year. He won’t get a chance to really get after a QB until Bo Nix who will be under center for Lanning’s Oregon Ducks. But, he will get to test the best OL UGA has on Saturday.
Christopher Smith returning for his senior year may not have impact that Jordan Davis’s decision to play in 2020, but he will be one of the leaders on the defense. Nolan Smith will improve in pass defense but a grade of 61 is not awful. Nakobe Dean set an extremely high bar in 2021 with a PFF Coverage Grade of 91. Nolan Ladd McConkey on intermediate routes on Saturday will be good test.
All these guys are coming back to haunt opposing QBs...
Here are guys that have enrolled early or who have not registered stats that we might see suit up and contribute on Saturday. Go Dawgs!!!