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The 2018 NFL Draft figures to be a historic one for Georgia football. Which team is the best fit for former Bulldogs standout Davin Bellamy?

Draft Dawgs: Which NFL team is best fit for Georgia OLB Davin Bellamy?

Cy Brown

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The best fit for Davin Bellamy

The 2018 NFL Draft figures to be a historic one for Georgia football. Ten former Bulldogs worked out at the NFL combine over the 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. Over 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 outside linebacker Davin Bellamy.

Davin Bellamy, OLB

6-foot-5, 255 pounds

Projected: Rounds 5-7

Bellamy was solid if unspectacular through his sophomore season at Georgia, but started making a star turn in his junior campaign. By his senior year, Bellamy was one a game-changer on defense, making a splash with plays such as his game-winning strip-sack against Notre Dame. Although he’s adept at stopping the run, he hasn’t shown the same penchant for rushing the passer, which can be a major mark against an outside linebacker. But Georgia didn’t call on its OLBs to blitz often, and Bellamy believes he has more range than he was able to show at UGA. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to prove that to scouts at the combine. A hamstring injury prevented him from participating in drills, but he’s expected to do a full workout at Georgia’s Pro Day.

Best fit: New England Patriots

It’s a time for introspection in New England, as the Patriots came up just short of back-to-back Super Bowl titles. The organization is expected to rebuild its shabby front seven with an emphasis on run defense — it finished 2017 with one of the worst run defenses in the NFL — which would give Bellamy plenty of chances to impress coaches and earn a spot in the rotation, or at least the practice squad. One of the hangups on Bellamy is that he’s a tweener and might need to add some weight and become a defensive end. There isn’t a better organization in the NFL at developing players than the Patriots. If anyone can figure out the best spot for Bellamy and get the most out of him, it’s Bill Belichick and top assistant Ernie Adams. Plus, heading to New England is a good way to win a Super Bowl. Ask David Andrews and Malcolm Mitchell.

Next best fits: Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, 

The best fit for … Roquan Smith | Trenton Thompson | Javon Wims | Lorenzo Carter | Nick Chubb | John Atkins | Isaiah Wynn

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‘No sleep for about a week’

We’re almost two months removed from Georgia’s devastating overtime loss to Alabama in the National Championship Game, which means the Dawgs involved in defending the final play of the game — a 41-yard walkoff TD pass from Tua Tagavailoa — can look back on it with some clarity. At the NFL combine, former UGA defenders John Atkins, Lorenzo Carter, Bellamy and Dominick Sanders described what they felt as they watched DeVonta Smith catch the game-winner. From Alex Martin Smith of DawgNation:

ATKINS: “When I saw the ball in the air, my head dropped. I was like, ‘Oh. My. God.’”

CARTER: “To turn around and see the ball in the air. … It was demoralizing.”

BELLAMY: “I knew it was over. I was like, ‘Man, I hope he drops it.’ But that’s a D-1 wide receiver over there at Alabama. I knew it was game over as soon as the ball left his hand.”

SANDERS: “He kinda looked me off. I kinda opened up toward the middle to try and honor the post that was coming backside. I also had a 9 route on my side to the same receiver. I tried to honor the post, and by the time I opened up, the guy was 5 yards ahead of me and it was pretty much over with.”

BELLAMY: “The quarterback did a great job looking him off. It was a hell of a play.”

SANDERS: “It was a good throw, though. Put it right there in the pocket for his receiver to get it. It was a mistake on my end. Everybody makes mistakes. Quarterbacks are gonna look off, especially at the next level. That’s what they’re good at, trying to look the DBs off. And he did that. It’s just something I’ve got to live with. Like I said, if I could have that play all over again, I’d do it all over.”

Dawgs on campus

Here’s how UGA athletics fared in a variety of sports last weekend.

  • The Lady Dogs basketball team defeated Missouri 55-41 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament Friday but lost to eventual champion South Carolina 71-49 in the semifinals Saturday. It’s expected they will be seeded high enough (No. 4 or better) to host the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • The men’s hoops team finished its regular season with another poor showing, letting go of a late lead to lose 66-61 at Tennessee. The Dawgs (16-14) will play Vanderbilt Wednesday in the SEC Tournament.
  • The Diamond Dogs baseball team had its worst showing of the young season, losing every contest in a three-game series at College of Charleston.
  • Georgia’s softball team extended its winning streak to 17 games with a 5-0 weekend at the Bulldog Classic in Athens. During the five-game stretch, Georgia outscored its opponents 38-3.
  • The Gym Dogs put in their worst showing of the season, scoring a 195.825 and finishing fourth of four teams at the Elevate the Stage tournament. The Gym Dogs have not won a meet since defeating Kentucky on Feb. 9.
  • The No. 1 UGA equestrian team defeated SMU 11-8 on Friday. The team is 8-1 heading into the final meet of the season Saturday at Texas A&M.

Second edition of Malcolm Mitchell’s book released

Since he was in school at Georgia, Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell has been on a mission to teach as many kids as he can the importance of reading. That mission continued last week with the release of the second edition of his children’s book, “The Magician’s Hat.”

Mitchell made stops in Boston, New York and Georgia on his book tour last week. At the Boston Public Library on Monday, he read his book to a group of 300 elementary school students. On Thursday, he brought the tour to Kimberly Elementary in Atlanta and gifted a copy of the book to every kid at the reading.

“Reading can help you overcome adversity, can help you overcome hard times, situations that you might have been placed in and had no control over,” Mitchell said, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. “I believe reading helps us become the best we can possibly be.”

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