Georgia's stellar recruiting over the past few seasons should serve the defense well.
It will still be tough, however, to replace what Georgia is losing on the defensive side of the football.
Key contributors at every position are expected to be selected in this year's NFL draft. The first one to come off the board is expected to be inside linebacker Roquan Smith, who finished his junior season with 137 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Up front, the Bulldogs are losing John Atkins and Trenton Thompson.
Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy, Reggie Carter, Malkom Parrish, Dominick Sanders and Aaron Davis are all gone from the 2017 team, too.
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Yet Georgia still appears to be in good hands moving forward. The team has done a good job with its rotation, especially with the front seven, to ensure a lot of its highly touted recruits received playing time.
With two months before the start of spring practice, here is a look at the projected depth chart on defense and special teams.
Defensive end: Jonathan Ledbetter (Sr.), David Marshall (Jr.), Malik Herring (Soph.)
Defensive tackle: Tyler Clark (Jr.), Michail Carter (Jr.), Devonte Wyatt (Soph.)
Nose tackle: Julian Rochester (Jr.), Michael Barnett (Jr.), DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle (Sr.)
Analysis: While the Bulldogs lost John Atkins to graduation and Trenton Thompson to early entry into the NFL draft, the Bulldogs should still be stacked up front on the defensive line. Clark ended the 2017 season as perhaps the most improved defensive lineman and will look to be one of the leaders up front. Tasked with replacing the dirty work that Atkins did will be Rochester, who served as his backup at times. Ledbetter, Marshall and Herring have formed quite the formidable trio at defensive end and will all be back to rotate with one another again.
Sam linebacker: D'Andre Walker (Sr.), Jaleel Laguins (Soph.)
Jack linebacker: Walter Grant (Soph.), Robert Beal (R-Fr.), Brenton Cox (Fr.)
Analysis: With Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy leaving, Walker and Grant are the next men up. Walker ended up having an exceptional 2017 season as a rotational player by tallying 5.5 sacks. Stepping into a larger role, expectations could be even higher for the rising senior playmaker. Coaches and players raved about Grant early in the 2017 preseason, saying the knowledge of the college game came quickly to him. While Cox will practice with Georgia as an early enrollee, it remains to be seen how five-star outside linebacker Adam Anderson will fit in once he arrives on campus this summer.
Mike linebacker: Natrez Patrick (Sr.), Monty Rice (Soph.), Tae Crowder (Jr.)
Will linebacker: Juwan Taylor (Sr.), Nate McBride (Soph.), Jaden Hunter (Soph.)
Analysis: As long as Patrick stays out of trouble, he will be the No. 1 option at Mike linebacker. Now, will he face a suspension to start the 2018 season? Perhaps. That part remains to be seen. Regardless, look for Georgia to rotate more inside linebackers next season than in 2017 with Roquan Smith and Reggie Carter's college careers coming to a close.
Left cornerback: Tyrique McGhee (Jr.), Ameer Speed (Soph.), William Poole III (Soph.)
Right cornerback: Deandre Baker (Sr.), Mark Webb (Soph.), Eric Stokes (R-Fr.)
Left safety: J.R. Reed (R-Jr.), Jarvis Wilson (Sr.), Latavious Brini (R-Fr.)
Right safety: Richard LeCounte III (Soph.), Tray Bishop (R-Fr.)
Star/nickel: McGhee, Poole or Reed
Analysis: For now, Baker stays at right cornerback, although with Malkom Parrish exhausting his eligibility, there's a chance he moves to the left side of the field. Regardless, Georgia got great news when it learned that Baker would be back. Baker finished the 2017 season with three interceptions and showed his skills as a lockdown corner over the final stretch of the year. With Parrish gone, McGhee is the likely candidate to be a full-time starter. He got plenty of experience this past season, too. With Dominick Sanders wrapping up his college career, the highly-touted LeCounte is set to step in at right safety. That leaves the star position as the lone question mark with Aaron Davis graduating. Georgia could move McGhee inside in nickel sets and roll with Speed or Poole on the outside. Georgia could also go with Reed at star if it is confident in another option at left safety.
Punter: Marshall Long (Soph.), Bill Rubright (R-Fr.)
Place-kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship (Jr.)
Long snapper: Nick Moore (Sr.)
Holder: Long, Rubright
Punt returner: Mecole Hardman (Jr.), Terry Godwin (Sr.)
Kickoff returner: Hardman, Elijah Holyfield (Jr.)
Analysis: Long was Georgia's starter as a freshman until dislocating his knee in a freak accident during practice. He redshirted this past season and will look to regain his starting position. While he figures to be the top option in the spring, incoming freshman Jake Camarda is likely to offer a stiff challenge. With Trent Frix's time at Georgia over, Moore appears next in line at long snapper. As for the return game, Hardman was electric at times on kickoffs and punts. The goal in 2018 will be to return one all the way for a touchdown.