Georgia finishes in 5th place in the Athlon preseason first-team, but notable names are overlooked

ATHENS — Georgian football has earned its fair share of recognition in Athlon Magazine’s preseason All-SEC teams, even after losing 15 players in the NFL draft.

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 3 behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State in Athlon’s Preseason Top 25 poll, have had five All-SEC first-team selections, a mark surpassed only by Tide (seven). .

Of course, Georgia knows better than anyone how few preseason teams mean and how wrong some groups can get.

The USA Today panel famously had no Georgia offensive or defensive players on its All-SEC preseason team last year, resulting in a season in which the Bulldogs had 15 players and a record five first-round picks on defense alone !

RELATED: Stop the Press, USA Today Knocks Out Georgia in All-SEC Teams

Eliminated defensive tackle Jordan Davis not only reaped All-American honors, but also became the first SEC player in history to win the Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award in the same season.

Linebacker Nakobe Dean, meanwhile, won the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker and was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles over injury issues.

RELATED: Philly fans are wowed by dynamic UGA duo Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean

Here’s how the Athlon panel voted:

FIRST TEAM

Brock Bowersthe offensive MVP of the UGA championship season with his record-breaking 13 TD grabs and countless clutch grabs, was a shoo-in for first-team honors after earning All-American honors as well as FWAA Freshman of the Year last season .

• Left tackle Broderick Jones has received the benefit of the doubt from voters despite only starting four games last season. Jones came off the bench in the CFP championship game and looked good.

• Defensive tackle Jalen Carter started in just two games last season, but people watched Carter make game-changing plays, blocking a field goal in the CFP championship game while the UGA defense kept the team in the game until the offense broke in the third quarter in gear came.

• Full-back Nolan Smith, the former No. 1 overall in the country, was also a first choice of Athlon. Smith is one of four game captains who returned a year ago, along with Christopher Smith, Kearis Jackson and Warren Ericson.

• The voters are clearly influenced by this Kelee Ringos Game-winning pick-6 in the national title game as he was a first-team pick despite occasional struggles in his redshirt freshman season.

Preseason’s All-SEC teams get so much attention for those not in it as a UGA quarterback Stetson BennetIt continues to be overlooked by many, although Kirby Smart heaps praise on it.

Bennett, Ericson, Receiver Ladd McConkey and foosball Jack Podlesny were the only returning starters not recognized by Athlon on its preseason first, second, third, or fourth All-SEC teams.

McConkey is explosive enough to warrant some consideration and could have had a full conference year, and Podlesny’s exclusion was a clear voter oversight.

The UGA players recognized in Athlon’s preseason All-SEC teams:

SECOND TEAM

RB Kenny McIntosh

OC Sedrick Van Pran

FS Christopher Smith

PR Kearis Jackson

THIRD TEAM

OT Warren McClendon

LB Robert Beal

FOURTH TEAM

WR Adonai Mitchell

TE Arik Gilbert

Unmentioned UGA players who could have All-SEC seasons:

• RB Kendall Milton (shares some load with McIntosh)

• LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson (could lead the team in tackles)

• DB Tykee Smith (former West Virginia All-American)

• TE Darnell Washington (one more year and then NFL)

• DT Zion Logue (versus Devonte Wyatt)

• WR Dominick Blaylock (figures will be released if healthy)

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