The Georgia Bulldogs entered the 2020 college football season ranked as the fourth-best team in the nation. Last Saturday, they started their season with a 37-10 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks. This week, the Bulldogs battle the Auburn Tigers, and the top Georgia football prospects will be given the opportunity to showcase their talents to everyone in the draft community.
In recent years, Georgia has been a factory for producing NFL talent. Just last year, the Bulldogs had seven players selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, including Andrew Thomas (Giants), Isaiah Wilson (Titans), D’Andre Swift (Lions), and Solomon Kindley (Dolphins). They should be well represented in the 2021 draft as well, especially when it comes to defensive backs.
One of the Bulldogs’ most intriguing prospects is the Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman. Newman was scheduled to be Georgia’s starting quarterback in 2020, but in somewhat of a surprise move, he opted out of the 2020 college football season. Without playing a down this season, there isn’t much hope for Newman improving his draft prospects in 2021.
In the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, we could see many Bulldogs hear their names called, such as Trey Hill (Offensive Line), Demetris Robertson (Wide Receiver), Ben Cleveland (Offensive Line), D.J. Daniel (Cornerback), and Monty Rice (Linebacker). With that said, the following list of Georgia prospects will likely be selected in the first couple rounds next April.
Safety Richard LeCounte (5’11”, 190 pounds)
For my money, safety Richard LeCounte is Georgia’s top 2021 Draft prospect. He started the 2020 season off with a bang, securing three tackles and two interceptions in the Bulldogs’ victory over Arkansas.
LeCounte plays the game with outstanding football intelligence and demonstrates brilliant route recognition ability. He is an enforcer against the run, possessing upper-echelon pursuit skills and the ability to lay the lumber. In pass coverage, he displays the ability to shut down athletic tight ends and has plus ball skills.
When you watch Georgia square off against Auburn this Saturday, keep an eye out for No. 2, as he will play like his hair is on fire. Currently, LeCounte is a solid Round 2 pick with an outside shot to hear his name called toward the end of Round 1 in 2021.
Cornerback Tyson Campbell (6’2″, 185 pounds)
The Georgia Bulldogs have one of college football’s top secondaries, and the player with the most talent of the unit is cornerback Tyson Campbell.
Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks didn’t really try to challenge Tyson Campbell last week, so box score scouts won’t be too impressed with his performance. With that said, Campbell brings immense talent to the table and has the makings of a future first-round pick.
When you watch Campbell, a former five-star recruit, the first thing you notice is his impressive size. He stands at 6’2″ and really knows how to utilize his length effectively. His best trait is his elite speed, which allows him to run with any wide receiver in the nation.
Auburn has two very good wide receivers in Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz, so Campbell will need to bring his “A-game” on Saturday.
Cornerback Eric Stokes (6’1″, 185 pounds)
He may not have the athletic profile of his teammate Tyson Campbell, but Eric Stokes is a fringe Round 1 cornerback in his own right. In Georgia’s season debut, Stokes picked off a Feleipe Franks pass and returned it for a 30-yard touchdown.
Stokes is at his best playing the boundary in press-man coverage, as he tends to be physical at the line of scrimmage and possesses good fluidity. Like Campbell, Stokes has great size and brings world-class speed to the table. In fact, Stokes has been clocked running in the range of a 4.3 40-yard dash.
Dalton Miller mentions some of Stokes’ strengths here: “From a coverage and mirroring standpoint, he is a good mover. He has enough speed to carry most receivers downfield, and he does a very nice job mirroring stop routes.”
Eric Stokes can cement himself as a solid Day 2 selection if he continues to build on his fast start to the season.
Defensive tackle Jordan Davis (6’6″, 330 pounds)
The last time Auburn beat Georgia, the Bulldogs gave up 238 yards on the ground. One man tasked with ensuring that this does not happen again is Georgia’s mammoth nose tackle Jordan Davis.
Matthew Valdovinos thinks Davis is the top sleeper at his position, stating: “One of my personal favorites watches among the defensive line this summer, Jordan Davis [is] a wrecking ball on the Georgia defensive line.
“Davis is massive at 6’6″ and 330 pounds. His natural play strength is some of the best in the nation. I believe he possesses more pass rush upside than he’s displayed, and he’s at worst an elite run defender with five to six-sack upside in the NFL. Expect Davis to be one of the SEC’s top defensive linemen this year, which will naturally raise his draft stock.”
If Davis can live up to the praise that Valdovinos thinks he warrants, he could find himself a top-50 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.