I know, I know – this is going out of a limb, but I don't care. Converted linebacker Marcus Washington makes a lot of plays (when healthy), and I expect that to be no different even thought he's lining up at defensive end. Jon Fabris has a pretty good idea how to convert linebackers to ends – see how the Marcus Howard experiment worked out so positively for the Dawgs. So, yes, I am projecting a little (or even maybe a lot) here.
There are a number of players who could have gone at number five – particularly Justin Houstin – but they are not as dependable, or are not dependable enough for me to put them in my top five. Also, there are more talented players who will not make this list, but this list is about the top players at Georgia – not for the NFL. If we were talking about the NFL this list would be a little different, and Washington probably would not even make my top ten list.
But at defensive end, a position of need to be sure, Washington will have a chance to make plays - and he will play against Oklahoma State and South Carolina, which is another reason I have him higher than I normally would. Go back and look at some of the film of the 2007 season (Washington missed 2008 with an injury) and notice how often the former Burke County star is playing during the game when something good happens for the Dawgs – that's not a coincidence. Expect the defensive line to really perform in 2009, and expect the ends to hold their end of the bargain.