Several Georgia grown players ready for NFL draft

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 1: Joshua Dobbs #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers is sacked by Natrez Patrick #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 1: Joshua Dobbs #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers is sacked by Natrez Patrick #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

About a month ago, general manager Thomas Dimitroff asked Steve Szabo, the team’s director of college scouting, to come into his office and mark up the entire draft board.

“We asked him about all of the guys who were Georgia natives,” Dimitroff said. “It was pretty neat to see how much talent was on that board from this state.”

Several players from Georgia are slated to be selected during the NFL draft, which is set to run Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.

Former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Gainesville High product who led the Tigers to a national championship title, is likely to be the first Georgian selected in the draft.

“I love it,” Dimitroff said. “I think we often talk about in the committee meetings and such at the league (meetings) about what is fair in this world, about places in the world and about who has more talent, all I do is sit back and say we have a ton of athletes that we are going to be able to pick from.”

The Falcons, because of the pro talent the state produces, know had a strong locals day on April 5.

“We are always going to have a very effective local day,” Dimitroff said. “We know that and we are always going to have good talent here to pull from. I’m very proud to be in this situation.”

Georgia and Georgia Tech can’t sign all of the talent. Players like Watson and Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson, end up shining at schools outside of the state. Some, like Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemson and Lamar cornerback Brenden Langley, transfer from Georgia.

“We are pulling for those guys, too,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We get a chance to connect with them because so many of them can come to our locals day to guys like Deshaun, who not only has a history of being close by in Gainesville, but with working with the team. Certain guys like that, we are definitely pulling for where ever they go.”

Watson is a former ballboy for the Falcons.

Here’s a look at the top 10 prospects from Georgia and what round they are projected to be drafted:

  1. Deshaun Watson, QB, 6-foot 2-inches and 221 pounds, Clemson (first): He was a two-time team most valuable player and two-time All-ACC academic team (2015,16) selection. He's considered the first or second rated quarterback available in the draft.
  2. Carl Lawson, DE, 6-2, 261, Auburn (first-second): He's from Alpharetta (Milton High School) and finished his career among the Tigers' career sack leaders with 14.0 in 33 games. Lawson is the son of former Georgia Tech fullback Carl Lawson Sr., who played on the school's 1990 national championship team.
  3. Evan Engram, TE/WR, 6-3 234, Mississippi (first-second): He is from Powder Springs and played at Hillgrove High School. He was a three-star tight end recruit . He received only two scholarship offers from power-five programs, committing to Ole Miss over Wake Forest. In 2016, Engram was the Rebels' featured receiving threat as he led the team with 65 receptions for 926 yards and eight touchdowns.
  4. Jarrad Davis, LB, 6-1, 238, Florida (second): He was a two-year starter for the Gators from Camden County High. Mostly played weakside linebacker and is considered tough and explosive with a high football intelligence. He stared 23 games, but made more than 200 tackles over his career.
  5. Antonio Garcia, OT, 6-6, 302, Troy (second-third): He is from Charles Drew High. He also recorded over 70 knockdown blocks and allowed pressures on just 1.8 percent of pass plays.
  6. Alvin Kamara, RB, 5-10, 214, Tennessee (first/second round): The Norcross High product started his career at Alabama, but after a knee injury and getting suspended twice, he transferred to Tennessee. He finished last season with 1,188 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns in just seven starts
  7. Gerald Everett, TE, 6-3, 239, South Alabama (third): The Lithonia native played at Columbia High. He caught 49 passes for 717 yards and four touchdowns last season. He did not play football at Columbia until his senior year, but was a three-year varsity basketball player in high school and also was member of track and field team.
  8. Raekwon McMillan, LB, 6-2, 240, Ohio State (second-third): He played at Liberty County before signing with Ohio State. He was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes and primarily played middle linebacker in their 4-3 scheme. He finished his career with 275 tackles.
  9. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, 6-3, 301, Alabama (third-fourth): He played at Henry County. In college, he played in 39 games for the Crimson Tide and had 122 tackles, including 10.5 for losses and four sacks. He attended the Falcons' locals day.
  10. Joshua Dobbs, QB, 6-3, 216, Tennessee (third): He played at Alpharetta high and could he be this year's Dak Prescott? Over 37 games, Dobbs completed 614 of 999 passes for 7,138 yards. He also rushed for 2,160 yards and 32 touchdowns.

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