Five Bulldogs in the First Round Shows How Historic That 2021 Georgia Defense Was

For all the love the 2019 LSU offense gets, the 2021 Georgia defense may have been just as historic.

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Trigger warning for fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide here. I’m definitely going to be bringing up the 2021 season, and how it ended with the Georgia Bulldogs raising the hardware after winning the National Championship. But, here we are – four months later, and the ramifications of that game are still reverberating throughout the football world. Five…count ’em…five Bulldogs were taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Two more were taken in the third. That’s seven Bulldogs defenders off of that championship defense that are heading to the NFL this season.

It started when Travon Walker came off the board at #1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags could’ve used another pass rusher to pair with Josh Allen, and the explosive traits that Walker possesses were enough for the Jags to pull the trigger. Jordan Davis was off the board at #13 to the Philadelphia Eagles, where I’d imagine they’re starting to think about life after Fletcher Cox. Linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt both became Green Bay Packers at #22 and #28 respectively. Then, with the final pick of the first round, the Minnesota Vikings selected safety Lewis Cine to sneak the fifth Bulldogs defender in on night one.

The Eagles doubled down on Bulldogs when they selected Nakobe Dean in the 3rd round on the second night of the draft. Dean could’ve easily made six Bulldogs in the 1st round, but I suppose teams were a little concerned about his injury history. Regardless, I think Dean could make a strong argument to be the best linebacker in the draft, and the Eagles got him at a 3rd round value. The Miami Dolphins took Channing Tindall later on in the third round, picking up the hard-hitting and rangy linebacker.

All in all, seven defenders selected is yet another indicator of just how good that defense was. It felt like that was a transcendent unit at the time, but this just gives us an entirely new perspective on it. This wasn’t a really good defense anchored by one star player. This wasn’t one guy dominating his level of competition. This was a team that was quite literally riddled with NFL talent. For all of the talk about that 2019 LSU Tigers offense being “historic,” I think what this Georgia defense did was equally as impressive. Now, defense isn’t nearly as sexy as what Joe Burrow and the gang were doing in 2019. But, this unit may deserve a little more credit than it’s getting in the grand scheme of at least recent college football history.

Another angle you can take with this information is just how hard that level of talent and production is going to be for Kirby Smart to replace. I know these upper echelon SEC teams simply reload each season. But, I might think twice before placing my Bulldogs National Championship bet this summer. What are the odds they can go on another run that ends up getting seven guys drafted in the first three rounds?!?!

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Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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