The Georgia defense that takes the field on Thursday for the start of fall practice will look very different than the one that ended the 2021 season as champions.

Related: Projecting Georgia football offensive depth chart prior to 2022 fall practice

Rarely has Georgia had this much turnover, what with eight key contributors being drafted and a handful of others entering the transfer portal. But that has opened the door for a number of Bulldogs to take on even greater roles this season.

Below we take a stab at how the Georgia defensive depth chart will shake out. But you can bet by the start of the game against Oregon, this lineup will have undergone a few more changes.

Nose Tackle

  1. Zion Logue (Jr.)
  2. Nazir Stackhouse (Jr.)
  3. Bear Alexander (Fr.)/Shone Washington (Fr.)

Logue gets the first crack at replacing Jordan Davis, which we know won’t be an easy task. But Logue has played key snaps before and the coaching staff like what it has in the junior. While not as boisterous as Davis, Georgia also likes the leadership qualities Logue brings to the table.

Expect Stackhouse to see a handful of snaps at the nose tackle position as well for Georgia. He’s a versatile lineman that can play at either nose tackle of kick out to defensive tackle. Rotation is key for the Georgia defensive line and plenty of players will see snaps.

Defensive tackle:

  1. Jalen Carter (Jr.)
  2. Warren Brinson (Jr.)/Nazir Stackhouse (Jr.)
  3. Jonathan Jefferson (R-Fr.)
  4. Christen Miller (Fr.)

Carter might be the best player on Georgia’s entire team. He’s certainly got the best NFL draft prospects, with many expecting him to be a top 5 pick in next year’s NFL draft. Carter shined last season and will look to be more disruptive with in a greater role.

Georgia also has solid depth behind him in Brinson and Stackhouse, as they’ve played before and can help spell Carter. Miller was a major signing day win for the Bulldogs and many will be eager to see how he plays after arriving in Athens this summer.

Defensive end:

  1. Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins (R-Fr.)/Tramel Walthour (Sr.)
  2. Bill Norton (Jr.)
  3. Mykel Williams (Fr.)

This is one of the sneaky interesting position battles. Ingram-Dawkins turned heads in the spring and emerged as an impressive player after G-Day. Walthour had been the expected starter but a knee injury kept him out of the spring game. He is good to go for fall camp.

Norton has seen snaps too and Williams may prove too talented to keep off the field. He was Georgia’s top-rated signee last year and has the added benefit of having gone through spring practice. Smart will want to keep expectations in check for Williams, but given the position he plays there might be a few Travon Walker comps thrown his way.

Jack/Outside linebacker

  1. Nolan Smith (Sr.)
  2. Chaz Chambliss (Soph.)
  3. CJ Madden (Fr.)

Sam/Outside linebacker

  1. Robert Beal (Sr.)
  2. MJ Sherman (Jr.) /Marvin Jones Jr. (Fr.)
  3. Darris Smith (Fr.)

The rare spot where Georgia has significant returning experience is at outside linebacker. Nolan Smith and Robert Beal are expected to have big seasons for Georgia, as they both bypassed the NFL draft to return to Georgia for another season. Smith will be the vocal leader of the team.

Related: Nolan Smith, Georgia football pass rush not strictly focused on stats: ‘That’s when you accomplish nothing’

Behind them, Georgia has some very interesting young options. Chambliss and Sherman will have to continue to work hard to see reps, though both have shown an ability to flash in limited situations.

Of the three freshmen in the group, Jones is the most intriguing. He has the length and skillset that could allow him to push for immediate playing time at Georgia.

Money/Inside linebacker

  1. Jamon Dumas-Johnson (Soph.)
  2. Rian Davis (Jr.)/Jalon Walker (Fr.)

Mac/Inside linebacker

  1. Smael Mondon (Soph.) /Trezmen Marshall (Jr.)
  2. Xavian Sorey (R-Fr.)/Jalon Walker
  3. CJ Washington (Fr.)

Georgia is going to rotate its linebackers. But this year, expect to revert back to a four-man rotation like it was in 2020 as opposed to the three-man lineup of Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker and Channing Tindall of last season. All three are now in the NFL, clearing plenty of snaps.

Dumas-Johnson enters fall camp as the top player in the room and someone who is poised to have a breakout season. All “Pop” has done since he arrived last summer is make plays.

How the other linebackers settle into their roles will be worth watching. Marshall and Davis both have an experience edge but the two have often been injured during their careers. Mondon, Sorey and Walker all have upside but have not gotten the requisite reps to prove it. Mondon could be one of the breakout players of fall camp as he returns from offseason labrum surgery.

Walker is a name to watch among the freshman class, while Washington’s status is uncertain after a scary neck injury he sustained during spring practice.

Left cornerback

  1. Kelee Ringo (R-Soph.)
  2. Daylen Everette (Fr.) /Nyland Green (R-Fr.)
  3. William Poole (Sr.)
  4. Jaheim Singletary (Fr.)/Julian Humphrey (Fr.)

Right cornerback

  1. Kamari Lassiter (Soph.)
  2. Nyland Green/Daylen Everette
  3. William Poole
  4. Marcus Washington Jr. (Fr.)

Ringo is entrenched as one of the starting cornerbacks, as he’s the most veteran player in the room. He’ll look to build off his big performance in the national championship game and play with more confidence throughout the 2022 season.

After that, it’s a real battle to see who emerges as the other starting cornerback. We didn’t get a chance to see how Lassiter looked on G-Day as he missed the game with a stomach bug. He was one of the more impressive freshmen in last year’s fall camp.

Nyland Green will look to bounce back from a disappointing freshman season and push for a starting spot. He’s certainly got the athletic traits to do so.

After that, it’s all freshmen. While Georgia could turn to senior William Poole in a pinch, he’s more likely to continue and play as a nickel back at the star position.

Georgia signed four cornerbacks in the 2022 recruiting class. Everette is ahead on the depth chart right now in part because of the experience he gained this spring. Many will be interested in seeing how Singletary, Humphrey and Washington look for new defensive backs coach Fran Brown.


  1. William Poole
  2. Javon Bullard (Soph.)
  3. JaCorey Thomas (Fr.)/Julian Humphrey

Poole emerged late in the season last year and had a key pass breakup in the win over Alabama. He’ll return as the starter, but look for Georgia to try and get Bullard some snaps as well on defense.

Given Georgia has so many young defensive backs, look for the Bulldogs to cross-train a few of them at the star position, in addition to safety and cornerback.

Free safety

  1. Chris Smith (Sr.)
  2. David Daniel-Sisavanh (Soph.)
  3. Malaki Starks (Fr.)

Georgia has had a ton of success with the safety position under Kirby Smart. Smith will look to keep that up after making big plays in the wins over Clemson and Alabama last season. He’s going to also be tasked with being a key leader for the entire defensive back room.

Behind him, Georgia has former top recruits it will look to develop in Daniel-Sisavanh and Starks. They’ll be working with Will Muschamp, who doubles as the co-defensive coordinator as well.

Strong safety

  1. Dan Jackson (Jr.)
  2. Tykee Smith (Jr.)
  3. JaCorey Thomas

This might be the biggest question mark on the Georgia team. Smith is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered last October, giving Jackson a chance to really cement himself as the first-team option at safety.

Thomas made a few impressive plays during the spring game and you can bet Georgia will experiment at this position as the Bulldogs don’t yet have a clear answer nor much depth at the safety position.


  1. Jack Podlesny (Sr.)
  2. Jared Zirkel (R-Soph.)


  1. Brett Thorson (Fr.)

Podlesny returns for his third season as placekicker though he’ll be pushed by Zirkel for field goal responsibilities. Georgia is also looking for someone to emerge as the kickoff specialist, as Jake Camarda excelled in said role.

Thorson signed as a member of the 2022 recruiting class and the Australian is expected to man the punting job for the Bulldogs.

Punt return

  1. Kearis Jackson (Sr.)
  2. Ladd McConkey (R-Soph.)
  3. Dominick Blaylock (Jr.)

Kick return

  1. Kenny McIntosh (Sr.)
  2. Kearis Jackson (Sr.)
  3. Kelee Ringo

Georgia should feel very good about what it has in the return game. Jackson has proven to be ever-steady in his role and was named Preseason First Team All-SEC as a return specialist. McIntosh is a veteran on the kickoff return unit, though Georgia will need to find someone who can replace Zamir White. He played an invaluable role on said unit.

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