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NFL Draft

Draft-Eligible Georgia Players Who Stood Out vs Arkansas

  • The Draft Network
  • September 28, 2020
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Football has returned to the SEC. The Georgia Bulldogs have championship aspirations this year and began the season ranked No. 4 in the country. People were eager to see their new Air Raid-like offense that Todd Monken had brought to Athens. After several transfers at the quarterback position, many were also eager to see which passer had earned the starting nod. 

Some assumed it would be Jamie Newman, the transfer from Wake Forest, but he opted out and decided to get an early start preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft. J.T. Daniels is also a transfer from USC but an injury kept him out of the game. So the Bulldogs gave the keys to redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis. 

Mathis couldn’t get the offense going, so he was replaced by Stetson Bennett IV. Bennet himself had transferred out of Georgia but later returned and found himself as the backup for the game. He provided a spark to the team in the second half, ultimately leading them to victory. 

From a scouting perspective, there were a couple of notable players that are projected to have their names called early in the 2021 NFL Draft. The first player I was eager to see was cornerback Tyson Campbell. 

Campbell has all the potential in the world to be a bonafide first-round draft pick. However, due to injuries and his lack of production in the passing game, he is a bit of a wild card. When he returned from injury in 2019, he didn’t reclaim his starting role, so there was some uncertainty if he would even start to begin the year. He started at left corner and played a solid game, under the circumstances. Arkansas rarely tested him, but he finished the game with one pass breakup and looked exceptionally good in press coverage. 

Another player worth mentioning was cornerback Eric Stokes. Stokes started at right corner and was a part of a formidable secondary that limited Arkansas in the passing game. In the third quarter, he intercepted a short pass and took it to the end zone for a pick-six. This was a critical play in the game because the Georgia offense couldn’t do much to the move to the football. Stokes looked good in press, and the duo smothered the Razorback wide receivers.

The final player worth discussing is safety Richard Lecounte III. The preseason All-SEC safety did not disappoint. He intercepted his first pass and nearly scored. He took it all the way to the 15-yard line. He also had a technical breakdown, when he had his eyes in the wrong place while in man coverage, allowing the receiver to beat him for a long touchdown in the slot. He redeemed himself later in the game by securing yet another big interception. This one was an impressive one-handed pick as their defensive front hounded Arkansas’ newly acquired quarterback transfer, Feleipe Franks. 

It’s also worth noting that Zamir White ran downhill and displayed a physical running style on his way to rushing for 71 yards on 13 carries. Overall, it was a good day for the future NFL players on Georgia’s defense, but bigger challenges lie ahead in the ultra-competitive SEC. If they continue to play this way, they can all expect to hear their names called much earlier than projected in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

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