Four more Georgia Bulldogs standouts selected on second night of NFL draft

Georgia defensive back Javon Bullard (22) celebrates with Georgia defensive back Tykee Smith (23) after an interception by Bullard during their game against Ole Miss at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 11, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 52-17. (Jason Getz /



Georgia defensive back Javon Bullard (22) celebrates with Georgia defensive back Tykee Smith (23) after an interception by Bullard during their game against Ole Miss at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 11, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 52-17. (Jason Getz /

Georgia is well accustomed to being a leader in college football. So it should come as no surprise that the Bulldogs are again one of the best-represented teams in the NFL draft.

The Bulldogs had four more players taken Friday, giving Georgia six draft selections through the first three rounds. Georgia saw Brock Bowers and Amarius Mims taken in the first round of the NFL draft.

Ladd McConkey was the first Bulldog drafted Friday night, with the Los Angeles Chargers trading up to pick No. 34 to make the selection.

McConkey becomes the highest-drafted wide receiver since Kirby Smart became Georgia’s head coach in December 2015.

“I knew that I could do it, and I knew that I had a good support staff around me that believed in me,” McConkey said following his selection. “When I got to Georgia, got the opportunity, was out there playing in the SEC against the best competition week in and week out, I was like, ‘All right, I can do this, I just need a shot.’ It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, and then it started to come to life a little bit in the last couple of years.”

While McConkey missed five games during the 2023 season, his tape won over plenty of admirers, including former Alabama coach Nick Saban.

“I really like this player. Some people question his size and his durability because he’s had some injury problems, but the quickness, the burst, the acceleration,” Saban said on the ABC broadcast. “When you can beat someone out of the break, you beat them out of the break and you can accelerate out of a break like he can, he’s going to create his own space and be a great slot guy.”

McConkey has some experience in his new home stadium, as SoFi Stadium was the venue for the 2023 College Football Playoff Championship game. Against TCU, McConkey caught five passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the 65-7 win.

Next off the board from Georgia was cornerback Kamari Lassiter. The Houston Texans took Lassiter with the No. 42 overall pick. Lassiter was Houston’s first selection of the draft, as it did not have a first-round pick.

The Georgia defender did have some question marks entering the draft, as he just a single interception during his NFL career. He also ran a less-than-stellar 40-yard dash time at Georgia’s Pro Day.

Had he run faster, he could’ve been a first-round pick.

“No touchdowns allowed in 390 coverage snaps. Played press, played off, wide receivers were in his hip pocket,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said. “He did a good job. This was really consistent all year with what I saw from Kamari Lassiter. He didn’t have the 4.35, the 4.4 40-yard dash. Ran 4.52. He transitions well, you can play him inside. Good instincts, good tackler. I like Kamari Lassiter. He’s a good football player. If he had run faster, he’s in the late first round, no question.”

Lassiter was one of two Georgia defensive backs taken in the second round, with Javon Bullard landing with the Green Bay Packers at pick No. 58.

Bullard becomes the fourth Georgia defender drafted by Green Bay in the past four NFL drafts.

He’ll trade in his red and black Power G for a green and yellow one.

“An absolute heat-seeking missile,” ESPN commentator Louis Riddick said. “Whether he is playing free safety, whether he is playing second-level zone coverage or he’s playing the star position or nickel position. You see it right here, he comes flying out of split-safety coverage, single-safety middle coverage and he is putting the pads on you. He has got the speed to run things down laterally. He’s got the speed to line up in the middle of the field and race to the bottom of the numbers, just like that. Him and Xavier McKinney are going to put the fear in some people.”

McConkey, Lassiter and Bullard were key leaders for Georgia during their back-to-back national championships.

A third Georgia defensive back was taken in the third round of the NFL draft, as Tykee Smith landed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with pick No. 89.

Smith will play for Todd Bowles, whose son Troy is a linebacker at Georgia.

“He goes with what they have right now,” ESPN’s Booger McFarland said of the selection. “Antoine Winfield Jr. is one of the top safeties in football. They just brought Jordan Whitehead back. Now they have this three-headed monster, they can play aggressive. They want to be more physical down there. Todd Bowles got himself a good one right here.”

Rounds four through seven will take place Saturday. Look for center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger and wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint to hear their names called.

With six Bulldogs taken, only Washington and Michigan have more players taken through the first three rounds. Those two schools have seven selections each.

Two former Georgia Bulldogs were drafted Friday, as the Indianapolis Colts drafted Adonai Mitchell with the No. 52 overall pick, and Jermaine Burton went to the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 80 pick.

The fourth round of the draft begins at noon Saturday.

Georgia football players drafted in NFL draft

  • Brock Bowers, tight end, Las Vegas Raiders: round 1, pick 13
  • Amarius Mims, offensive tackle, Cincinnati Bengals: round 1, pick 18
  • Ladd McConkey, wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers: round 2, pick 34
  • Kamari Lassiter, cornerback, Houston Texans: round 2, pick 42
  • Javon Bullard, safety, Green Bay Packers: round 2, pick 58
  • Tykee Smith, safety, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: round 3, pick 89