Long wait for Georgia's Jake Fromm finally ends

The only quarterback to play meaningful snaps for the Georgia Bulldogs the last three years has another team now.

Jake Fromm, who surprised more than a few folks by deciding to skip his senior season at UGA, finally heard his name called in the NFL draft on Saturday, the final of the three-day event. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior from Warner Robins was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round with the 167th overall pick on Saturday.

“I’m excited to be a part of the team,” Fromm told reporters in a video call. “I’m humble and hungry and ready to go in and serve in any way I can. For me and my family, I hated (the wait) more for my family. The waiting has been tough. It has been a little longer than expected. But, man, I’m so excited and so blessed. There are only so many people who get this opportunity to get that phone call. Beyond thankful to be in this position. I couldn’t be any more grateful and super excited.”

Fromm, projected to be one of the top five quarterbacks in the draft, instead was the eighth signalcaller off the board. Three quarterbacks were gone with the first six picks in Thursday’s first round in LSU's Joe Burrow (1), Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa (5) and Oregon's Justin Hebert (6) and Utah State's Jordan Love also went in the first round with pick 26 to Green Bay.

On Friday, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, a transfer from Alabama, went late in the second round with the 53rd pick to the Philadelphia Eagles. No quarterbacks went in the third round.

For Fromm, it wasn’t as much about how high he could get drafted as it was having done all he could do in college.

Fromm was Georgia’s primary quarterback in all 43 games he played. The only one he didn’t start was the first one his freshman year, when sophomore Jacob Eason got the nod in the season opener. But Fromm ended taking over in the third offensive series of that game when Eason was sidelined with a knee injury, then never relinquished the position.

At the end of it all, the Bulldogs went 37-6 with Fromm under center, with one SEC Championship, three SEC title games, a College Football Playoff victory in the Rose Bowl and national championship game appearance.

In a video posted on Twitter, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said: “Jake, well, well, well. The time has finally come. Seems like I’ve know you since birth almost. ... Your legacy here is real. Any guy who can say he would the three games he played against Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and Tech, that’s pretty special when you think about it. To beat Auburn in the SEC Championship and then go to two more, that’s pretty special. It’s incredible what you were able to do here and you did it the right way. We appreciate you. We appreciate your family. You are a Dog for life and we got a lot of memories.”

Statistically, Fromm’s 8,224 career passing yards ranks fourth on UGA’s all-time list. His 78 career TD passes places him in second place on UGA’s all-time list. He ranks fourth and fifth, respectively, on UGA's lists of career completions and attempts.

Even separate coasts, Fromm and Eason couldn't escape each others shadows.

As the NFL draft drug on deep into the third round Friday night, and five quarterbacks had already come off the board, ESPN kept flashing back and forth to live shots from the respective living rooms of Fromm in Warner Robins, Ga., and Eason in Lake Point, Wash. The two quarterbacks started both started their college football journeys at Georgia. Fromm's ended there a year earlier than almost anybody would have predicted. Eason's ended at the University of Washington.

Eason was selected in the fourth round by the Indianapolis Colts with the 122nd overall pick. Three picks later, the New York Jets selected Florida International quarterback James Morgan with the 125th pick. Fromm was the best player available by ESPN’s Mel Kiper after Eason was selected and lasted 45 more selections.

On the final day of the draft, Georgia also three players drafted. Guard Solomon Kindley was selected in the fourth round (No. 111) by the Miami Dolphins. Tight end Charlie Woerner was taken in the sixth round (No. 190 overall) by the San Francisco 49ers. Linebacker Tae Crowder was taken in the seventh round (the final pick at No. 255) by the New York Giants.

Safety J.R. Reed, kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, running back Brian Herrien and wide receiver Lawrence Cager were not drafted but reportedly each agreed to deals as undrafted free agents. Reed will sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Blankenship with the Indianapolis Colts, Herrien with the Cleveland Browns and Cager with the New York Jets.