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Ask Farrell: Why hasn't Georgia produced more NFL DTs?

Julian Rochester
Julian Rochester (AP Images)

Georgia has done almost everything right to become a national powerhouse.

The Bulldogs played for the national title just a few years ago. They were just plays away from beating Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. They have pumped out NFL Draft picks.

And Georgia has won back-to-back-to-back team recruiting titles which should set up the SEC power to be in contention for more runs to the College Football Playoff in the coming years.

But one position that has not materialized well for Georgia in recent years - and it could be a factor as to why the Bulldogs have not won a national title - is defensive tackle.

A defensive tackle from Georgia has not been drafted since 2013 when John Jenkins was selected in the third round.

Geno Atkins, John Atkins and Abry Jones are the only defensive tackles who played for the Bulldogs that are currently in the NFL.

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Across the defensive line, Georgia has not had lots of hits in recent years although some position changes could have skewed that as well.

Lorenzo Carter and D’Andre Walker were both listed as defensive ends by Rivals but are categorized at linebacker in the NFL. Former five-star Trenton Thompson was definitely a massive bust. Chauncey Rivers transferred to Mississippi State so he won’t count in Georgia’s draft class.

Former Rivals100 defensive tackle Michail Carter never achieved high-level success in Athens. Four-star Julian Rochester, a member of the Rivals250, could have a big season to boost his draft status but he’s far from a top-level performer.

Georgia’s offensive line draft class is outstanding, running back D’Andre Swift is expected to be taken early and quarterback Jake Fromm could be a steal. But defensive tackle - and across the defensive line - has not been a power position for the Bulldogs over the last few years.


We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if Georgia can turn around its fortune at defensive tackle and we ask him to name some players either on the roster now or those coming soon who could have a huge impact at the position.

"Some of this is just circumstances. Thompson, for example, had clear NFL talent but just had some off-field issues. But I’m not worried about the interior defensive at Georgia because Jordan Davis has a ton of talent and Jalen Carter is an absolute freak. And let’s not forget about Travon Walker and the upside he has. The defensive tackles in Georgia’s scheme do a lot of the dirty work and the ends, hybrids and linebackers end up making a ton of plays as a result, but guys like Davis and Carter will be surefire NFL guys down the line."