Georgia’s 21 NFL draft picks rank 3rd nationally, tied for 3rd in state history

Alpharetta defensive back Jaycee Horn (7) warms-up before their game against Douglas County in the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs at Alpharetta High School Friday, November 17, 2017, in Alpharetta. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
Alpharetta defensive back Jaycee Horn (7) warms-up before their game against Douglas County in the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs at Alpharetta High School Friday, November 17, 2017, in Alpharetta. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Twenty-one former Georgia high school players were taken in the NFL Draft, the same as last year and well above the state’s average of 16.5 this century.

Georgia has produced more NFL draft picks only twice, in 2017 (29) and 2015 (30).

The six first-round picks from Georgia are the most ever, and that led the nation.

The 21 overall picks ranked third behind Florida (37) and Texas (33). Other states with at least 10 were California (19), Louisiana (13) and North Carolina (10), according to High School Football America and MaxPreps.

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Here are more Georgia facts from the 2021 draft:

-Former Cartersville and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence became the first Georgia player to go No. 1 overall, to the Jacksonville Jaguars, since Cam Newton of Westlake in 2011. Lawrence is the third overall. Duluth’s George Rogers went No. 1 in 1981.

ExploreHistory of Georgia high school quarterbacks in NFL

-The six first-round picks beat the previous high of five from 2005. The ’05 class included another Cartersville legend, Ronnie Brown, who went No. 2 overall. Georgia has produced 30 first-round picks over the past 10 years. By comparison, Georgia had 17 first-round picks from 1990 to 1999 and 16 from 2000 to 2010.

-Six Georgia players became their school’s first player ever drafted. They were Jamin Davis of Long County, Jordan Smith of Lithonia, D’Ante Smith of Grovetown, Michael Carter II of South Paulding, Jalen Camp of South Forsyth and Tommy Tremble of Wesleyan, (Wesleyan graduate David Andrews, the New England Patriots’ center, was undrafted in 2015.)

-Azeez Ojulari, taken in the second round by the New York Giants, is the first Marietta player drafted since former Georgia quarterback Eric Zeier in 1995.

-Three Georgia quarterbacks were taken, all former five-star recruits. They were Lawrence, Justin Fields and Davis Mills. Those are the most Georgia quarterbacks taken since at least 1988, or perhaps ever. Only 14 have gone in the draft since 1995.

-No Georgia high school had more than one player selected, but two cornerbacks from Covington were drafted. Eastside’s Eric Stokes went in the first round to the Green Bay Packers and Newton’s Tay Gowan went in the sixth round to the Arizona Cardinals. Covington also produced recent NFL cornerback Demetrius McCray and four-time Pro Bowl corner Dale Carter, both of Newton.

-The home-state Atlanta Falcons didn’t select a Georgia player. They’ve picked one — cornerback A.J. Terrell of Westlake — in the past six drafts.

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