Seth Emerson posted his thoughts on the post-spring depth chart for Georgia’s defense yesterday. It’s natural to expect the starting situation to be more unsettled than that of the offense, but it turns out not to be the case so much.
Take a look at who’s expected to line up in the base defense, for starters:
- Garrison Smith is a lock for one DE spot.
- Thornton’s won the nose guard job, in somewhat of a surprise.
- DeLoach and Jenkins are the starting OLBs.
- Herrera will man one of the ILB slots.
- Swann starts at cornerback.
- Matthews and Harvey-Clemons are the starting safeties.
That’s a total of eight. Bailey and Drew are duking it out for the other DE starting job, Wilson is fighting to hold off Carter at ILB and Dawson was on his way to winning the cornerback spot opposite Swann until his injury setback. That’s remarkably stable, given all the talk we’ve heard about having to rebuild the defense after everyone left for the NFL.
And when Grantham goes nickel, Harvey-Clemons stays on the field. DeLoach comes off and another safety comes on. That’s where it looks like the other big battle will be waged in the fall.
Now that says nothing about filling out the two-deep, where there are bound to be some significant changes come August. But if you think there’s quality talent, you should be a little optimistic about how the defensive starting picture is coming into focus.