Fourteen former Georgia high school players were taken in the NFL Draft last week, about 4 ½ below normal for the decade.
Six of the 14 were picked in the seventh round, allowing Georgia to leap into a tie for fourth place nationally with Ohio. Florida had 35 players taken. Texas had 27, and California had 22. Those are unofficial numbers and compiled with help from HighSchoolFootballAmerica.com.
Former Stephenson defensive end Montez Sweat, taken 26th overall by the Washington Redskins, maintained the state’s streak of at least one first-round pick since 2009. Stephenson, of DeKalb County, has had nine NFL Draft picks since 2006, the most of any Georgia school.
Rock Ya-Sin of Southwest DeKalb by way of Temple was the next Georgian taken. Ya-Sin was the second pick in the second round to the Indianapolis Colts.
Coincidentally, Ya-Sin and Sweat both transferred while in college. Sweat originally signed with Michigan State and wound up at Mississippi State. Ya-Sin began at Presbyterian College, a FCS school.
Ya-Sin was lightly recruited out of high school, as was seventh-round pick Darryl Johnson of Camden County, who finished at North Carolina A&T.
But almost every other Georgia players taken in the first six rounds were heavily recruited.
Most were major Division I prospects coming out of high school. Mecole Hardman of Elbert County, Chuma Edoga of McEachern, Webster of Stockbridge and Terry Godwin of Callaway were AJC Super 11 picks. Isaac Nauta was a consensus five-star recruit at IMG Academy in Florida. He played at Buford before transferring.
Five of the Georgia players are the first from their schools to be drafted. They are Godwin of Callaway, Webster of Stockbridge, D’Andre Walker of Langston Hughes, Darius Slayton of Greater Atlanta Christian and Cortez Broughton of Veterans.
Georgia finished the 2010-19 decade averaging 18.6 NFL Draft picks. That’s considerably more than the averages of 13.5 in 2000-09 and 12.0 in 1990-99, but the state has slumped the past two seasons. Only 12 were taken in 2018. That’s after 29 in 2017 and a record 30 in 2015.
Former Georgia high school players in 2019 NFL Draft
No. 26 DE Montez Sweat, Stephenson (Mississippi State) NFL: Redskins
No. 34 CB Rock Ya-Sin, Southwest DeKalb (Temple) NFL: Colts
No. 56 WR Mecole Hardman, Elbert County (Georgia) NFL: Chiefs
No. 92 OT Chuma Edoga, McEachern (Southern Cal) NFL: Jets
No. 117 DE Austin Bryant, Thomas County Central (Clemson) NFL: Lions
No. 168 LB D’Andre Walker, Langston Hughes (Georgia) NFL: Titans
No. 171 WR Darius Slayton, Greater Atlanta Christian (Auburn) NFL: Giants
No. 205 DB Duke Shelley, Tucker (Kansas State) NFL: Bears
No. 224 TE Isaac Nauta, Buford (Georgia) NFL: Lions
No. 225 DE Darryl Johnson, Camden County (North Carolina A&T) NFL: Bills
No. 237 WR Terry Godwin, Callaway (Georgia) NFL: Panthers
No. 235 DT Dontavius Russell, Carrollton (Auburn) NFL: Jaguars
No. 242 DT Cortez Broughton, Veterans (Cincinnati) NFL: Chargers
No. 252 CB Ken Webster, Stockbridge (Ole Miss) NFL: Patriots
Georgians taken in NFL Draft:
2019 - 14
2018 - 12
2017 - 29
2016 - 15
2015 - 30
2014 - 17
2013 - 20
2012 - 14
2011 - 19
2010 - 16
2009 - 13
2008 - 12
2007 - 12
2006 - 13
2005 - 13
2004 - 13
2003 - 13
2002 - 13
2001 - 18
2000 - 15
1999 - 14
1998 - 15
1997 - 9
1996 - 14
1995 - 9
1994 - 4
1993 - 14
1992 - 13
1991 - 13
1990 - 11
1989 - 16
1988 - 12
2019 draft picks by state*
35 - Florida
27 - Texas
22 - California
14 – Georgia, Ohio
10 – Louisiana, North Carolina
Nine – Mississippi, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia
Six – Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee
Five – Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington
*List compiled with help from HighSchoolFootballAmerica.com.
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