SEC Power Rankings: Eastern division defenses

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Sep 7, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Ramik Wilson (51) reacts with defensive end Sterling Bailey (58) after a goal line stand against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated South Carolina 41-30. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Bulldogs

Defensive Coordinator: Jeremy Pruitt (1st year)
2013 ranks – 43rd vs. run, 59th vs. pass

It’s almost inconceivable how Georgia could send so many high round draft picks to NFL defenses, and yet continually finish near the middle of the pack as a defensive unit.

Part of that problem is now gone and toasting to motorcycles and choke gestures with Bobby Petrino. The replacement, Jeremy Pruitt, can take a defense that’s half as talented as what Georgia has fielded in past seasons and make them look twice as good. And in the secondary (his focus) that’s pretty much what he’ll have to do.

Georgia’s linebackers are just monsters. As a unit, probably the best in the nation, and adept at both supporting run or pass defense. The defensive line is solid, and will be even better this year with a healthy Ray Drew and Sterling Bailey.

If the Bulldogs can overcome the youth and inexperience they have in the secondary, this defense could turn out to be better than expected. But even if they fall short, it will still be better than last season’s train wreck.