NFL draft records expected to fall for Georgia Bulldogs

Credit: Curtis Compton /

Credit: Curtis Compton /

ATHENS — Unless something unforeseen happens, Georgia should establish a school record this year for players chosen in an NFL draft.

At least 16 players off the Bulldogs’ 2021 national championship team have received a draft rating from ESPN experts. If accurate, Georgia could establish an NFL record for number of players drafted from a single school in one draft. The record is 14 for a seven-round draft, such as the one that begins Thursday night in Las Vegas (8 p.m., ESPN, NFL Network). That mark is shared by LSU (2020) and Ohio State (2004).

“I’m not sure about that,” coach Kirby Smart said of breaking that mark earlier this spring. “… But we’re really happy for them. So many of those guys worked their tail off. They didn’t get there through some easy deal. They worked really hard, and that’s what our players now have to understand. It doesn’t come easy.”

With outside linebacker Adam Anderson being indicted on rape charges in an Athens-Clarke County court proceeding Tuesday, Georgia’s pool likely will be decreased by one. Meanwhile, punter Jake Camarda and tight end John FitzPatrick would have to be considered long shots.

Typically only one or two punters per year are drafted – including Georgia Tech’s Pressley Harvin last year –and then they go late. Even Drew Butler, Georgia’s Ray Guy Award winner in 2009, went undrafted before beginning a four-year, four-team NFL career via free agency. But Camarda could prove an exception. Pro Football Focus rates the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Norcross native the No. 1 specialist in the draft. His gaudy punting numbers together with proven kickoff ability make him a particularly valuable commodity.

FitzPatrick, who measured slightly over 6-7 and 262 pounds for NFL scouts, is an intriguing prospect as well. FitzPatrick actually had another season of college eligibility he could have used. But with the Bulldogs so stacked at tight end and FitzPatrick playing through an injury his entire junior season while on track to graduate this past fall, FitzPatrick decided to test the draft. As has been proved by UGA’s own Charlie Woerner and many others, there is a market for well-sized tight ends with exceptional blocking ability in the NFL.

Beyond that, there are plenty of players from Georgia’s 2021 national championship team who not only expect to hear their name called during the three-day event but are projected go on the first night. Those include defensive end Travon Walker – who many are predicting will be selected No. 1 by the Jacksonville Jaguars – defensive linemen Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt and linebacker Nakobe Dean.

The most Georgia players selected in the first round of a draft was three in 2018 (Roquan Smith, Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel), when running back Nick Chubb went just three picks into the second round. The NFL record is six, held by Alabama last year and Miami in 2004.

The record for most Bulldogs selected in a single draft was nine last year. So, that one seems very likely to fall this weekend.

Cornerback Eric Stokes (29th, Packers) was the only first-rounder for Georgia last year. But fellow defenders Tyson Campbell and Azeez Ojulari followed early in the second, and linebacker Monty Rice, offensive lineman Ben Cleveland and tight end Tre’ McKitty went in the third.

This year, there is a very realistic chance that the Bulldogs could have six defensive players go off the board in the first two rounds. Senior linebacker Quay Walker and junior safety Lewis Cine aren’t expected to last into the third round, and cornerback Derion Kendrick is expected to hear his name called eventually.

Taking last year’s draft into account, that means that Georgia could have 14 defensive players drafted in a two-year period. While that certainly is a feather in the Bulldogs’ cap, it might create concerns about Georgia’s defensive prospects for the 2022 season.

To that, Smart says let him worry about it.

“Yeah, we saw this coming two, three years ago,” he said after G-Day. “We even had the fear that we might have been replacing those guys last year had they not decided to stay. So that’s been a preparation deal for us. We’re always looking two, three years ahead sometimes, and, you know, where you maybe have a deficit or you’re not as good or maybe better at certain positions. So, that’s a focus we take on each and every year, but that will be a challenge for us.”

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Georgia has good offensive representation as well in receiver George Pickens, offensive linemen Jamaree Salyer and Justin Shaffer and running backs James Cook and Zamir White.

Based on pre-draft projections, that brings another UGA record into play. The most players the Bulldogs have had selected in the first three rounds was six last year. The most in the first two rounds is four, which has occurred several times, most recently in 2018.

Indeed, many draft records could fall for Georgia this week.


Based on a survey of projections, following is the anticipated order Georgia players are expected to be drafted as the NFL draft is conducted Thursday through Saturday:

  1. DE Travon Walker
  2. DT Jordan Davis
  3. LB Nakobe Dean
  4. DT Devonte Wyatt
  5. FS Lewis Cine
  6. LB Quay Walker
  7. WR George Pickens
  8. OL Jamaree Salyer
  9. LB Channing Tindall
  10. RB James Cook
  11. RB Zamir White
  12. CB Derion Kendrick
  13. OG Justin Shaffer
  14. P Jake Camarda
  15. TE John FitzPatrick
  16. OLB Adam Anderson

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