2022 NFL Draft: Legend of Georgia’s dominant defense will keep growing if unit smothers first round

The legacy of Georgia’s 2021 defense continues to be built this week. As many as five Bulldogs could be taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday. One of projected first-round picks, All-America linebacker Nakobe Dean, has considered the history that may be made.

“If they forget everything, the myth about Jordan Davis might grow,” Dean told CBS Sports. “He was 7-foot-5, 500 pounds. The myth about the defense might grow and grow.”

Davis, projected to be another one of those five first-rounders, isn’t quite that big. The Outland-Trophy winning defensive tackle is merely 6-foot-6, 340 pounds. But fables are already forming around that Dawgs D. The more time that passes from January’s win in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship, the more the legends propagate.

Let’s frame that Georgia D across NFL Draft history. If four UGA defenders are taken in the first round, that would tie a record from one team (Miami in 2004, Florida State in 2006). It’s certainly a good place to start. Five, of course, would set the record.

Dean was the leader on a unit that allowed the fewest points per game in a decade.

The Mississippi product was first in tackles for loss (10.5) second in total tackles (72) and sacks (six) and first in inspiration. His season proved a star football player on a national title-winning team can still be part of the educational experience. Dean was chemical engineering student with a 3.5 GPA.

That’s a discussion point when pay-for-play is this close in the name, image and likeness era.  

“I feel like, at the end of the day, if you’re playing college football for NIL, you still have to perform,” Dean said.

How unique. Dean originally wanted to be a doctor when he enrolled at Georgia but…


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