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Georgia football-2022-defensive depth chart
041622 Athens: Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) during the G - Day game at Sanford Stadium Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

ESPN: Georgia NFL conveyer belt set to roll out 3 more first-rounders in 2023 NFL Draft

ATHENS — Kirby Smart’s Georgia football model is set to keep churning out NFL talent, developing talent while competing for championships.

RELATED: Newly crowned King Kirby loaded Georga after title game heartbreak

The Bulldogs had a record-five first-round picks come off a historically dominant defense that allowed just 6.9 points per game in the regular season, the fewest since 1986 Oklahoma.

• No. 1 Travon Walker, Jacksonville

• No. 13 Jordan Davis, Philadelphia

• No. 22 Quay Walker, Green Bay

• No. 28 Devonte Wyatt, Green Bay

• No. 32 Lewis Cine, Minnesota

Linebacker Nakobe Dean was widely projected as a first-round pick before concerns with his medical history led to his falling to the third round.

RELATED: Dean shares insight into Georgia football tough love

The most recent ESPN mock draft, via analyst Todd McShay, features three returning Georgia defensive players in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Defensive tackle Jalen Carter, as has been well-documented, looks to be the Georgia bell cow of the next professional draft class as is projected to go No. 5 overall in McShay’s ESPN-plus paysite article.

One NFL personnel man reportedly told ESPN that Carter was the best player on the Bulldogs’ team in 2021.

It’s a sentiment first-round picks Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt, both mentors of Carter, suggested during their NFL Draft evaluation process.

Cornerback Kelee Ringo, with his blazing speed, is projected to go No. 12 overall in next season’s draft despite the occasion struggles he had in man-to-man coverage last season.

Ringo delivered when it mattered most with the Oil Painting moment of Georgia’s 33-18 win over Alabama in the CFP Championship Game, a Pick-6 that capped the scoring.

Ringo looked good in the Bulldogs’ G-Day Game, as well, appearing considerably more confident and comfortable in coverage.

Outside linebacker Nolan Smith came in at No. 30 overall in McShay’s early 2023 NFL Draft first-round mock.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Smith came to Georgia ranked the No. 1 overall prospect in the nation in the 2019 signing class.

Georgia has other defensive players McShay didn’t mention who could also be drafted in the first three rounds in junior defensive tackle Zion Logue and outside linebacker Robert Beal.

Safety Christopher Smith is likely a third-day draft pick.

Georgia also has a handful of offensive players who could be drafted in the first two days:

Tight end Arik Gilbert

RELATED: Kirby Smart warns against Arik Gilbert hype

Tight end Darnell Washington

Center Sedrick Van Pran

Tackle Broderick Jones

Tailback Kenny McIntosh

Tailback Kendall Milton

Georgia is the overwhelming pick to win the SEC East Division next season even with the record-breaking attrition.

In addition to the 15 NFL Draft picks, former sacks leader Adam Anderson is one of the 14 of 18 game captains no longer with the team.

Georgia also has four former starters among the seven players from its two-deep that entered the transfer portal.

Alabama, last season’s SEC champion and CFP Championship Game runner-up, is projected to have six first-rounders in the 2023 NFL Draft.

SEC rivals Kentucky and Florida are also expected to have quarterbacks who are selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, per McShay:

Alabama

QB Bryce Young, No. 2  Detroit Lions

DE Will Anderson, No. 3 N.Y. Jets

CB Eli Ricks, No. 10 Washington

LB Henry To’To, No. 24 Dallas

RB Jahmyr Gibbs, No. 27 Miami

OG Emil Ekiyor Jr., No. 29 Green Bay

Florida

QB Anthony Richardson, No. 6 Carolina

Kentucky

QB Will Levis, No. 8 N.Y. Giants

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