Georgia Backup Edge Defender has Highest Preseason Grade
Updated July 7, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Georgia has been a factory for top notch defensive talent under Kirby Smart, and in 2020, the team was especially loaded at the edge-rusher position. While future second-round pick Azeez Ojulari got the majority of attention, backup edge rusher Adam Anderson was laying the foundation to be a top prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft. As a rotational backup, Anderson was a dangerous quarterback hunter, and his combination of length and blinding speed really impressed NFL advance scouts. Some advance scouts gave Anderson the highest preseason grade of any prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft.
In part-time duty as a designated pass rusher, Anderson was tremendous at putting heat on the quarterback in 2020, totaling 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass batted. He only had 14 tackles for the season, however, as predominantly Ojulari played over Anderson on run downs. It wasn't just Ojulari, as former five-star recruit Nolan Smith and defensive end Jermaine Johnson rotated in as well. Johnson has since transferred to Florida State, and he has some early-round projections as well.
Preseason projections from team sources have Anderson running the 40-yard dash at 4.5 seconds flat, which is an excellent time for a 6-foot-4, 226-pound linebacker. After doing training before the combine and his pro day, that time could drop into the 4.4s or even the 4.3s. Anderson's blinding speed off the ball with the ability to bend has created a buzz about his pass-rush potential for the NFL. He enters the 2022 NFL Draft process having made a great first impression, and it will be interesting to see if he can build on his 2020 season with Ojulari playing for the New York Giants and Johnson playing for the Seminoles. Anderson has created a lot of excitement in the scouting community and was the highest-graded prospect by some advance scouts.