When you’ve recruited and developed as well as Georgia has in recent seasons, the Bulldogs are going to have some of the top players in the SEC.
247Sports put out its list of the top 10 players in the league, with two Bulldogs making the cut. Quarterback JT Daniels came in at No. 3, while George Pickens slotted in at No. 7.
Many expect Daniels to have a breakout year following his strong finish to the 2020 season. Pickens will spend much of his junior year recovering from an ACL injury, but his past brilliance was more than enough to earn inclusion on the list.
With Daniels and Pickens already on the list, we’ll go deeper into some of the other players whose names could be included on the list come the end of the season.
The obvious names: Jordan Davis, Jamaree Salyer
Both Salyer and Davis have cases that they could already be top-10 players in the conference.
There is not a better run defender in the sport than Davis. The massive defensive tackle is a significant reason the Bulldogs have had the No. 1 rush defense in the country in each of the past two seasons.
Related: Making the case for Jordan Davis as UGA’s best and most important player
Salyer showed last season why he was a 5-star prospect, manning the left tackle spot on the Georgia offensive line rather impressively. His future could be at either guard or tackle, depending on how the rest of the offensive line shapes up.
For Davis to crack the list, he’ll have to player a bigger role in Georgia’s pass-rushing packages, as the senior had just 1.0 sack last season. For Salyer, he’ll need to continue to help the entire offensive line improve as a unit.
The Good to Great group: Nakobe Dean, Warren McClendon, Adam Anderson, Zamir White
Each of these three players could be described as good players. For them to crack the list, the Bulldogs will need them to go up a level in 2021.
Dean led the Bulldogs in tackles last season. While he wasn’t able to physically participate this spring, coaches and teammates constantly raved about the leadership Dean provided.
Related: Nakobe Dean continues to impress Kirby Smart
McClendon earned Freshman All-American honors last season for Georgia, starting nine games at right tackle. The redshirt sophomore seems like the most locked-in offensive lineman to a position, as he is likely to be Georgia’s starting right tackle.
Anderson picked up 6.5 sacks last season for Georgia and seems like the best bet to be the top pass rusher for the Bulldogs in 2021. Kirby Smart has said that Anderson will be used in a versatile role in Georgia’s defense. If he could get to 10.0 sacks, he seems like someone everyone in the conference will know.
White led Georgia in rushing last season and scored 10 touchdowns. He looked noticeably quicker in Georgia’s spring game. As he gets further and further from his two knee injuries, it’s fair to wonder if he can look like the running back that made him the No. 1 running back prospect in the country for the 2018 recruiting cycle.
From part-time to big-time: Travon Walker, Nolan Smith, Kendall Milton
These three all played part-time roles for Georgia in 2020. Now with more experience and a better opportunity, Walker, Smith and Milton might really make some waves for Georgia.
Walker will be taking over the role held by Malik Herring. While the defensive end spot is usually not a statically productive position in the Georgia defense, Walker is not your typical defensive end. Smart also stated he expects Walker to help make up for the loss of Azeez Ojulari.
Replacing Ojulari in Georgia’s defense is Smith. He was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2019 recruiting class and has provided some pass rush while serving as a back-up to the now New York Giant.