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Georgia football’s defensive line ranks outside of college football’s top five

Georgia football’s defensive line unit was left off the rankings of one college football expert.

There’s a saying in football that games are won in the trenches. That’s exactly what the Georgia football program has believed in since head coach Kirby Smart arrived. The Bulldogs make it a priority to make sure they get some of the best talent the country has to offer on both the offensive and defensive lines every year. That approach has been reflected on the football field over the years.

Since 2020, Georgia has drafted 11 offensive linemen and six defensive linemen. The Bulldogs have also compiled three consecutive undefeated regular-season records and have lost just two games since the conclusion of the 2020 college football season. A big part of that has to do with how dominant Georgia has been in the trenches during that time span.

During the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Georgia’s defensive line was littered with NFL talent, names like Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, Jalen Carter, and Travon Walker, to name a few. The team took a step back at that position group after the 2022 season, which is to be expected when a program loses so much talent up front in a two-year span. The Bulldogs still had one of the best units in the country, but it wasn’t what fans had seen during their two national title-winning seasons.

Now, heading into the 2024 college football season, one college football expert doesn’t think Georgia has a top-five defensive line unit. Phil Steele released his rankings of the top 25 defensive lines and placed Georgia at seventh. The teams ahead of them, in order, were: Texas A&M, Nebraska, Michigan, Utah, Penn State and Ohio State.

Georgia has a lot of names returning on the defensive line this year. Mykel Williams is the biggest name and appears to be a lock to be selected in the first round of the 2025 draft. Nazir Stackhouse and Warren Brinson elected to return for another season rather than declare for the draft. Georgia is also expecting big seasons from players like Christen Miller, Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Jamaal Jarrett and transfer Xavier McLeod.

Coach Smart’s program is not lacking in talent to be one of the best defensive lines in the country this season. In fact, they have plenty of players on the defensive line to be a special and impactful unit this year. The only question that remains is whether the returning players and players who added another season to their college resume take the steps forward required of them to be even better than last season. If those conditions are met, then the expectation should be for the Bulldogs to once again be near the top when it comes to defensive line rankings for the 2024 college football season.

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