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May 26, 2017

So, about Bellamy and Carter

This exchange about the excitement I expressed in Ep 087 of the "Waitn' Since Last Saturday" Podcast over our returning outside line backers
got me thinking, am I, as a fan, over rating Bellamy and Carter? This isn't to prove Walton wrong, as much as to think through why I'm excited about their season.

Let's star with the basics. If anyone thinks I believe Carter and Bellamy will become Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins, let's pump the brakes. I would say that both Bellamy and Carter are on athletically on par with Jenkins, with Carter having potential to reach Floyd's use of athletic ability to change games. In fact, we saw some of that in prior years.

Yes, I know this is a highlight video, so it shows, you know, highlights, but just looking, I'd say Carter's first step and speed, at least in his 2014 and 15 seasons (this was posted in August of 2016) were pretty good. Remember, 2015 was the season he got ejected against Vandy and looked tentative the rest of the season. Looking at his stats from 2016, I see a guy that had 44 tackles (ten fewer than Floyd had in his next to last year) and 6 TFL (3.5 fewer than Floyd had). Also, you can argue Floyd drew more offensive attention than Carter.

You can also argue that Jeremy Pruitt's defense was more predicated on the OLBs being aggressive at pushing up field than Mel Tucker's, so that skews the TLF stats, IMO. 

That is all to say my expectation for Carter is that he'll be an All-SEC player in 2017. Could he be a top ten NFL pick like Floyd? Maybe, but that's a really high bar. I absolutely believe he will be drafter higher than Jordan Jenkins was (83rd pick) in the 2018 draft.

Looking at Bellamy, I see a guy who is always around the ball.  Yes, I know that is crap football speak for jumping on the pile, but that is essentially what Parrish was saying in his tweet. I also see a guy that has steadily increased his production to 55 tackles and 9 TFLs in 2016. Yes, those are nearly mirror stats for Floyd. Again, Bellamy drew less attention than Floyd.

I think he'll be drafted around where Jenkins was, with the potential to take his game to a higher level where he could be drafted as high or higher than Carter.

The trick for both Bellamy and Carter is getting better at pass/run recognition, the one place I think they are not as solid at as Floyd or Jenkins were in their penultimate seasons.

Let me finish by saying I think Walton's view isn't invalid, as both Carter and Bellamy have not performed to expectations, expectations set pretty high by Floyd and Jenkins (and I'm not saying his expectations are that; I don't know). If UGA fans think both will be Floyd, I don't see that, but could be proven wrong. I do think both Bellamy and Carter have the potential, and potential I think they'll reach, to be top 4-6 OLBs in the conference.

Now, about depth at OLB......



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