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Tony Walsh / UGA Sports
Georgia senior linebacker Monty Rice has the highest draft grade on the team entering the 2020 season, according to one NFL scouting list.

ESPN makes convincing case for Georgia football as ‘LBU,’ but not ‘RBU’

ATHENS — Georgia likes to call itself “RBU” with its rich history of great running backs, all-time great Herschel Walker towering above all others in modern era college football history.

But ESPN did a study looking at which schools produce the most and best players at different positions since 1998, and the findings were that the Bulldogs are actually much more LBU, ranked No. 1 by ESPN.

“No team comes close to producing the NFL talent at linebacker that Georgia has since 1998,” the article states.

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“The litany of stars, including six All-America nods, is impressive: Roquan SmithLeonard FloydJarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree were all first-round selections, but the roll call also includes Will Witherspoon, Kendrell Bell, Boss Bailey, Odell Thurman, Rennie Curran and Lorenzo Carter.”

Things don’t figure to change much with the talent Kirby Smart’s defense is on the verge of sending to the NFL in the 2021 draft.

Of the 10 Bulldogs with NFL draft grades, inside linebacker Monty Rice leads the group entering the season with second- to third-round NFL draft grade.

Outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson is another potential draft pick, as is third-year sophomore outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari.

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Ojulari, one of seven semifinalists for FWAA Freshman of the Year last season, just needs to get more of himself on tape to jump up into the draft ratings.

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Junior outside linebacker Adam Anderson has the athleticism and pass rush skills that he might also be drafted after this season.

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True sophomore Nakobe Dean seems destined to be a high round NFL draft pick once he’s eligible, as earlier as the 2022 NFL Draft.

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As for those other position ratings, the Bulldogs were only in the top 10 in three others: Defensive backs (8), Offensive line (8) and Running back (9).

Smart has had only one four-year cycle of players go through, so it’s likely only a matter of time before the Bulldogs’ talent has a greater impact on NFL rosters.

It’s worth noting that in explaining why Georgia was higher ranked among running backs, ESPN explained the Bulldogs didn’t get many awards.

That’s likely because Georgia uses a running back-by-committee approach designed to maximize the players’ performance and keep them healthy throughout the rigors of an SEC season.

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