2018 NFL Combine: Two Georgia Bulldogs to pay close attention to

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 30: Lorenzo Carter
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 30: Lorenzo Carter /

The 2018 NFL Combine is already underway, but drills don’t start until Friday. The University of Georgia will have two former players present at Lucas Oil Stadium that Tennessee Titans fans should look for.

With weigh-ins and measurables already being noted over the last 24 hours or so, the 2018 NFL Combine is officially in full swing. Position drills don’t start until Friday, but all combine participants must go through a preliminary medical process and being interviewing with teams before that day comes.

The Tennessee Titans will have a close eye on every player that walks through the stadium doors. GM Jon Robinson and HC Mike Vrabel will look for explosive players who look the part and test well. Nailing an interview will be an added bonus for the player in the two-tone blue brass’ eyes.

The NFL Combine boasts most of the best college players of the last four years. The amount of talent and athleticism that will be on display over the weekend can be breathtaking. It’s tough for any one player to stand out from the pack, but the supremely fast and athletic ones always do every year.

On the back of a National Championship Game run, the Georgia Bulldogs are well-represented at the NFL Combine. The Bulldogs sent 10 players to the Combine, most of them important starters for the National Championship runner-up. But it’s actually a duo of rotational players that should intrigue the Titans the most in Indianapolis.

Lorenzo Carter, EDGE

Carter may be a bit more of an unknown name to most college football fans, but his upside is tantalizing. Carter was used as a rotational pass-rusher and run defender on a Georgia defense that was filled to the brim with talented playmakers. At 6-6, 243 lbs, Carter was deployed as both a defensive end and outside linebacker throughout his career. His ability to play standing up or with his hand in the dirt will likely intrigue Vrabel for his “front multiplicity” type of defense, which will need edge defenders who can play both inside and outside.

Carter is big and he is absurdly fast, as evidenced by this clip of him chasing down a quick running back in the open field from the backside of the play.

Carter’s college career started slow, with just 4.5 sacks through his first two seasons, but he picked it up over his last two seasons on stacked Georgia defenses. He got 9.5 sacks, notched 14.5 tackles for loss, forced five fumbles and recovered five fumbles in his junior and senior seasons.

His size and athleticism is probably unmatched when it comes to edge rushers in this class, and it won’t be a surprise if he absolutely lights up the combine and shoots up draft boards. Given the Titans have a big need at edge defender, Robinson and Vrabel should hope he doesn’t totally destroy the Combine and inflate his stock.

Sony Michel, RB

Michel has already weighed in and been measured. He came in at a height of 5’10 5/8″ and a weight of 214 pounds. Many have likened Michel to Alvin Kamara, an explosive rookie from last year’s class who was also a part-time running back and took the NFL by storm once he was given the chance. The comparison has reached a new level after Michel’s stature appears identical to Kamara’s.

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For those who watched Michel in college, the comp shouldn’t surprise you at all. Michel showcased his explosiveness on a weekly basis despite being second-fiddle to Nick Chubb *when he was healthy). He was particularly amazing during his senior season, when he racked up 1323 total yards on eight yards per touch. Michel shined when Georgia needed him most, accumulating 324 rushing yards on just 32 carries over the final three games of the season (SEC Championship, National College Football Playoff). He scored three rushing touchdowns against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff Semifinal, and added four catches for 41 yards and another touchdown as well.

Michel has proven to be an asset in the passing game, having caught 64 passes for 621 and six touchdowns throughout his Georgia career. Yet he was surprisingly underused through the air in his final collegiate season, catching just nine passes. But that drop-off can be attributed to the rise of uber-talented freshman D’Andre Swift, who was used primarily as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Michel’s track record in the passing game should entice NFL teams, especially after the success of Kamara and Christian McCaffrey as rookies last season. The Titans should be no exception, as they need a player like Michel to pair with Derrick Henry.

Next: Tennessee Titans: Pre-Combine Mock Draft