Jonathan Ledbetter surprisingly was not selected in this years NFL Draft. However it appears that teams made a mistake, by passing on the Georgia Football defensive lineman.
Jonathan Ledbetter stepped onto campus as a highly touted Georgia Football recruit, from Tucker, GA. He was ranked as the number five strong side defensive end in the 2015 NCAA recruiting class.
Ledbetter was ranked as the number eight player in the state of Georgia. Georgia as a state, is top five in the nation, in terms of producing talented four and five-star college recruits.
Jonathan Ledbetter was also a top 100 recruit in the entire nation. He was ranked number 65 in the country by 247sports.com.
Things got off to a slow start with the Georgia Bulldogs for Ledbetter. He played in only 14 games, with just two starts in his first two seasons at UGA.
Jonathan broke through as a junior, playing in 15 games while starting 11. He recorded 38 total tackles, 5.5 for a loss and 2.5 sacks.
During his senior season, Jonathan Ledbetter played in 14 games, starting all except one. He set new career highs with 56 tackles and 6.5 tackles for a loss.
His sack total did dip to just one, but Ledbetter was rewarded with a selection to the All SEC second team, for his performance as a senior. Though it was not the stellar career that many experts envisioned for Jonathan Ledbetter, he was a solid player and key cog for an SEC Championship team.
Ledbetter did not project to be a high draft pick, but he was certainly expected to be drafted. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com projected Jonathan to be selected in round six or round seven. Some mock drafts even predicted that he would come off of the board in round five.
Instead Jonathan Ledbetter was not selected and signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent. He was one of the players featured in this Atl All Day article about the undrafted free agents from UGA.
Often times undrafted free agents are just camp bodies. A very small percentage of such players actually make an NFL roster and even fewer make an impact.
Johnathan Ledbetter is well on his way to defeating those odds. He has turned heads in training camp by making impact plays. He has even received a significant amount of reps with the Dolphins first team defense.
Johnathan Ledbetter saw his first action of the preseason against the Atlanta Falcons and he did not disappoint. He tied for a game high-five tackles, despite playing just 28 snaps, the ninth most on the Miami team.
Ledbetter received a stellar Pro Football Focus grade of 89.9, for his performance in his first NFL action. He was graded an impressive 83.1 as a run defender. He had two stops in the contest, holding the opponent to 3 yards or less.
PFF gave Johnathan Ledbetter a more than respectable grade of 74.9 as a pass rusher. He pressured Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks three times. This includes two hurries and one sack.
Cameron Wolfe ESPN reporter for the Miami Dolphins, named Ledbetter among his standout players from last night’s action.
Under the previous coaching regime, the Georgia Football players that often under achieved in college, went on to play much better at the next level. The regime did produce multiple star players as well.
Kirby Smart has certainly helped developed many talented players in his brief time at Georgia. He has gotten a large majority of the talented, hard-working players to reach their peak in college.
It is still very early in the process, but so far Johnathan Ledbetter seems to be on track to continue the tradition, of under performing UGA players coming up large in the NFL. If the Dawgs continue to produce stars and have lesser players over achieve, UGA players will soon populate every roster in the NFL.
Dawg fans across the nation will certainly be watching and rooting for Jonathan Ledbetter and all of the Georgia Football players that are fighting for roster spots. Go Dawgs!
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.