Draft Dawgs: Which NFL team is best fit for Georgia DB Dominick Sanders?
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The best fit for Dominick Sanders
The 2018 NFL Draft figures to be a historic one for Georgia football. Ten former Bulldogs worked out at the NFL combine last weekend in Indianapolis. If all 10 are drafted, it would be the largest draft class in UGA history.
During draft season, a lot of folks try to figure out which players are the best fits for each team. But we’re taking the opposite approach and figuring out which team is the best fit for each player. During the next few days, we’ll give you a Bulldogs-by-Bulldogs look at which NFL team is most likely to help each reach their full potential. Here’s a look at defensive back Dominick Sanders.
Dominick Sanders, safety
6-foot, 193 pounds
Projected: Rounds 6-7
Sanders is one of the best ballhawks in Georgia football history, but unfortunately he’ll always be remembered for the busted coverage on Alabama’s game-winning touchdown in the National Championship Game. But one of the ways to change that is by having an exceptional NFL career, which he’ll likely begin as a late-round pick. Sanders’ greatest attribute is his ability to get to the ball, whether that’s defending the pass or attacking the ball carrier. However, he’s not a good open-field tackler. He has below-average size and speed for a safety, and he’ll have to make up for that with superior instincts and football IQ. That means he’ll need to make far fewer mental mistakes — such as the final play of the title game — to have a long career.
Best fit: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are in the middle of rebuilding their defense, and safety is a top priority. Mike Mitchell is entering a contract year and might not be long for Pittsburgh, and Sean Davis was one of the worst safeties in the NFL last season. Finding a spot on the Steelers defense is a boon for any player, as the organization has continually pumped out some of the best defenders in the league over the last two decades. Working with the Steelers coaches would give Sanders the best chance to iron out the flaws in his game.
Next best fits: Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams
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What’s the story?
Adam Rittenberg of ESPN compiled a list of the most compelling spring storylines in college football. Right at the top of the list is the inevitable quarterback controversy in Athens — or, rather, the inevitable discussion of whether or not there is a QB controversy — and a similar one brewing in Tuscaloosa.
Quarterback questions for Alabama and Georgia
This could be a first for college football: Two young quarterbacks who started the national championship game will have to scramble to keep their jobs. At Alabama, most have already awarded the QB1 title to Tua Tagovailoa, the hero of the Tide’s most recent national title. Although Jalen Hurts is a two-year starter who doesn’t commit turnovers and can gash defenses, he will need a strong spring to hold off Tagovailoa, a more gifted passer who could help Alabama’s talented young receivers. Jake Fromm ranked ninth nationally in pass efficiency as a redshirt freshman as Georgia won the SEC in 2017, but he’ll be pushed by Justin Fields, the nation’s top recruit and one of the most decorated quarterback prospects in recent years. Fields enrolled in January and will have every opportunity to wow the coaches this spring.
The end is near
The Georgia men’s hoops season likely will mercifully end soon. All that’s left is the SEC Tournament — Georgia faces Vanderbilt Wednesday — and a spot in an also-ran postseason tournament. There’s a strong possibility that Mark Fox loses his job between the end of Georgia’s SEC Tournament run and the beginning of the NIT. Seth Emerson of DawgNation read the tea leaves, and they point to Fox’s time in Athens ending in the near future.
Tea leaf 1: Last week, 5-star point guard recruit Ashton Hagans de-committed, making it known that the uncertainty over Fox’s future was a reason. Hagans’ camp made it clear that a re-commitment probably would be in order if Fox were to be retained. But Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity did not respond to a request for comment about Fox’s status, and there was no indication that anyone at UGA reached out to Hagans or his camp to offer any assurances.
Tea leaf 2: Two weeks ago, amid the festering FBI investigation of recruiting corruption in NCAA basketball, McGarity responded to a reporter’s inquiry to praise Fox: “We are very proud of the way Mark Fox continually represents the University and Athletic Association.” But McGarity did not respond to the second part of the question, which was about the status of Fox’s future.
Tea leaf 3: Fox has seemed downcast during the past month, even after some wins. And he hasn’t tweeted since Feb. 10, ending a routine of tweeting “Go Dawgs” the day of every game. Is it possible he already has an inkling of what’s to come?
Dawgs on Twitter
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