Rarely has a collegiate football unit become so iconic as the 2021 Georgia football defense, the heroes of the Bulldogs’ first national championship since 1980.
The 2022 NFL Draft provided proof positive to its legitimacy, with a record five players selected off Kirby Smart’s elite defensive unit.
“There will not be a defense probably that epic (ever),” former UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning told CBS sports.
For that very reason, Georgia fans will follow the careers of the departing stars into the NFL like no group before them.
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The fact former Bulldogs’ quarterback Matthew Stafford emerged as the NFL’s story of the year last season by leading the L.A. Rams to a Super Bowl win caught the eye of most all of the Georgia fans.
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And now there are 15 new NFL players from the Bulldogs program, eight coming off the defense, including a record five in the first run with No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker setting the pace.
There are 57 Georgia players on NFL rosters at the start of May, not counting Jayson Stanley who recently worked out for the Chicago Bears but has yet to make the roster.
Twenty-eight of the players are on offense, 25 are on defense and four are on special teams.
Thirty-eight of the 58 players were recruited by Kirby Smart, dating back to his first signing class in 2016, with the remaining 20 Mark Richt signees.
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Perhaps most amazingly, there are as many active linebackers (5) and receivers (4) signed in the Richt Recruiting Era (2015 or before) as have been signed by Smart since 2016.
Here’s a look at how the Georgia players are currently dispersed on NFL rosters:
WR A.J. Green