Smael Mondon Jr., LB, Georgia

November 11, 2023; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Smael Mondon Jr. (2) tackles Mississippi Rebels running back Quinshon Judkins (4) during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


The first thing you notice when watching Smael Mondon Jr. is the speed with which he takes the linebacker position. Whether he's running up the middle, dropping back into coverage, or recovering when beaten, his energy and speed are unmatched. He often uses them to overwhelm blockers, and sometimes surprises others with them, too.


In NFL circles, some have devalued the linebacker position. Could this be due to the lack of dual-threat ability when it comes to stopping runs and defending passes? Maybe. Mondon Jr. brings that dual-threat ability as he consistently demonstrates great coverage skills on film. Against Florida, he stuck with Ricky Pearsall. Against Ohio State, he stuck with Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming. He can compete with NFL talent at the receiver position playing against top talent on film.

Gap shooting

The trait that makes him the complete package is his ability to strike in the pass rush, especially when the opportunity presents itself. His first step gives him an advantage over blockers along the offensive line. Combine that with his motor and recovery ability, and you have one hell of a linebacker for a defensive playmaker to scheme around.

Anna Harden

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