PFF really likes Gilbert, picking him to go No. 5. That’s an intriguing assessment considering the 6-5, 265-pound athlete will share playing time at tight end with Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington, among others.
Speaking of Washington, the 6-7, 265-pound rising junior from Las Vegas just slips into the bottom of the Top 100 composite rankings compiled by nflmockdatabase.com. But Washington doesn’t generally get the early-round love of some of his teammates. Injury concerns and a lack of receiving production to date likely have deflated his perceived value. He missed the first four games last season and spring practice this year with foot injuries. He’ll enter this season focused on allaying those concerns.
Georgia has a pair of third-year sophomore starters on the offensive line who might have decisions to make in left tackle Broderick Jones and center Sedrick Van Pran. Jones, who started four games last season, has drawn mock projections ranging from 18th to 66th. If accurate, that would suggest he might have a difficult decision to make. Van Pran got a No. 31 projection from Sports Illustrated.
As for Georgia’s 16 seniors (including walk-ons), outside linebacker Nolan Smith has the most promising outlook. The 6-3, 235-pound Smith projects as a first-rounder in at least four different mocks. CBS had him going eighth, while PFF had him 13th. Formerly the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting prospect, Smith’s decision to return for his senior season was a boon for the Bulldogs, who are rebuilding their defense.
Meanwhile, other seniors such as wideout Kearis Jackson, defensive backs Christopher Smith and Tykee Smith, linebacker Robert Beal and offensive lineman Warren Ericson enter their final college seasons hoping their play gains the notice of NFL scouts. Currently none of them rank particularly high.
For what it’s worth, sixth-year senior quarterback Stetson Bennett did not appear on any of the early assessments.
But averaging 8.6 players selected in the past five drafts, it’s safe to say Georgia will have a significant presence next year as well.
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