Georgia Football: Projecting the Bulldogs' 2013 Defensive Depth Chart

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor IDecember 30, 2012

Georgia Football: Projecting the Bulldogs' 2013 Defensive Depth Chart

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    Many Georgia Bulldog fans believe the team has a chance to have a successful 2013 season because of the players they have returning on offense.

    However, the same can't be said about the defense, as they could lose up to 12 players who have started this season.

    Players such as Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree are expected to make the jump to the NFL, while other players like John Jenkins and Bacarri Rambo will graduate at the end of the school year.

    There are talented players to take their place, but the 2013 defense will be a lot different from what it was in 2012.

    Here's a look at what the defensive depth chart could look like next year.

Nose Tackle

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    Starter: Kwame Geathers

    There is a chance that Kwame Geathers will make the jump to the NFL, but it depends how the next month plays out.

    When it's all said and done, Geathers will likely stay and improve his draft status. Working behind Jenkins has been beneficial for Geathers, and he will have a very good chance to shine in 2013.

     

    Backup: Jonathan Taylor

Defensive Ends

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    Starters: Garrison Smith, Ray Drew

    Garrison Smith got a lot of playing time this year after Abry Jones went down with an injury. Smith notched 55 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.

    Ray Drew played as a reserve behind Cornelius Washington, and he is one of those players who will have a chance to have a breakout year in 2013. He finished with 20 tackles and six quarterback hurries this season.

     

    Backups: Mike Thornton, Sterling Bailey

Inside Linebackers

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    Starters: Amarlo Herrera, Brandon Burrows

    This is where things get a little interesting.

    If Ogletree does decided to go pro, that means the Bulldogs will lose three starting inside linebackers, and that would leave Amarlo Herrera as the only player with significant experience at the position.

    Hererra will have to mentor whoever is alongside him, which would likely be Brandon Burrows, who has the size and speed to be a very solid inside linebacker. But the coaching staff will get a very good look at a few players, especially the new recruits that are coming in.

     

    Backups: Ryne Rankin, A.J. McDonald

Outside Linebackers

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    Starters: Jordan Jenkins, Ramik Wilson

    Jarvis Jones will be missed (assuming he makes the decision to enter the NFL draft), but Jordan Jenkins could make fans not miss Jones as much if he continues to ascend.

    In 13 games, Jenkins tallied 30 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four sacks, and he became the starter midway through the season to take over for Chase Vasser.

    Ramik Wilson is raw, but shows signs that he can take that next step.

     

    Backups: T.J. Stripling, Josh Dawson

Cornerbacks

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    Starters: Damian Swann, Devin Bowman

    Damian Swann had a solid 2012 season and could really be one of the best corners in the conference next season. Swann had 47 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

    Devin Bowman saw a lot of action earlier in the season, and that will benefit him in 2013 because he's expected to fit right in and help Swann make plays.

     

    Backups: Sheldon Dawson, Blake Sailors

Safeties

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    Starters: SS Corey Moore, FS Connor Norman

    Replacing Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo will not be an easy task, but Corey Moore and Connor Norman should be able to hold their own.

    Moore logged in a lot of minutes early in the season and finished with 13 tackles in 13 games.

    Norman will be a senior in 2013 and will provide a ton of much needed leadership. He played sparingly in all 13 games and finished with 18 tackles.

     

    Backups: SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, FS Marc Deas