Georgia defensive back Nyland Green (1) during Georgia’s practice session in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Georgia football position takeaways entering first day of full pads in fall camp

ATHENS —The pads go on at Georgia on Tuesday, and the intensity ramps up.

The Bulldogs were dealt a No. 3 preseason ranking on Monday from the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, but Coach Kirby Smart will see to it they continue to prepare like a championship team.

NEWS: USA Today Coaches’ Poll deals UGA another Top 5 start

Georgia certainly has looked the part in drills and workouts, loaded with well-conditioned large, fast and athletic players at every position, showing no appearance of drop-off from last season’s CFP Championship squad.

It’s hard to see missing experience, but Smart is aware of it, and that’s why he’s coaching hard on a defense that lost eight players to the NFL draft, including five first rounds.

Here’s a quick take on every position entering the padded portion of fall drills:

Quarterback: Stetson Bennett has said he needs to improve decision-making and footwork — easily trumping new haircut and T-shirt selection as the key storyline.

Running back: Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton are headed for breakout seasons, NFL talents who will benefit greatly from the pending TE mismatches.

Tight ends: Brock. Darnell. Arik. Oscar. The most imposing TE room in CFB history. Really.

Offensive Line: The most athletic unit Smart has had, and with new line coach Stacy Searels, it could prove to be the nastiest.

Receivers: Adonai Mitchell, Ladd McConkey, Dominick Blaylock and Kearis Jackson are capable. Can Arian Smith and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint remain healthy?

Defensive line: Jalen Carter has all the talents, but can he fill the massive leadership void left by Face of 2021 champs, Jordan Davis?

Linebackers: Kirby says all this new group needs is opportunity. They sure looked good in G-Day Game.

Secondary: Imminent drop-off at safety with Lewis Cine’s departure, but Chris Smith ready to elevate, and corners Daylen Everette, Nyland Green and Kamari Lassiter battling opposite Kelee Ringo.

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