State of Georgia leads nation with 6 first-round picks in NFL draft

Minnesota Gophers receiver Rashod Bateman is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft. (Mark Vancleave/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
Minnesota Gophers receiver Rashod Bateman is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft. (Mark Vancleave/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Six Georgia high school players went in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday. That’s the most of any state in the nation and tops the state’s previous record of five set in 2005.

The six were led by Trevor Lawrence, the former Cartersville and Clemson quarterback who went No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lawrence became the third Georgian to go No. 1 in the draft, joining Westlake’s Cam Newton (2011) and Duluth’s George Rogers (1981).

The other Georgia players taken in the first were cornerback Jaycee Horn of Alpharetta and South Carolina (No. 8 to the Carolina Panthers), quarterback Justin Fields of Harrison and Ohio State (No. 11 to the Chicago Bears), linebacker Jamin Davis of Long County and Kentucky (No. 19 to the Washington Football Team), Rashod Bateman of Tift County and Minnesota (No. 27 to the Baltimore Ravens) and cornerback Eric Stokes of Eastside and Georgia (No. 29 to the Green Bay Packers).

The five taken in 2005 was a group that consisted of Ronnie Brown of Cartersville (No. 2 to Miami), Adam Jones of Westlake (No. 6 to Tennessee), Carlos Rogers of Butler (No. 9 to Washington), Thomas Davis of Randolph-Clay (No. 14 to Carolina), David Pollack of Shiloh (No. 17 to Cincinnati).

Brown, Jones and Rogers went in the top 10. Georgia almost matched that feat again, as Fields just missed at No. 11.

Georgia had two players taken among the top 10 for the third time in four drafts. It also happened in 2020 (Andrew Thomas of Pace Academy, Derrick Brown of Lanier) and 2018 (Bradley Chubb of Hillgrove and Roquan Smith of Macon County).

Lawrence and Fields are only the third and fourth Georgia quarterbacks to go as first-rounders in NFL history. The others were Deshaun Watson in 2017 and Newton in 2011.

Georgia is averaging 2.2 first-round picks since 2000, but 3.0 over the past 10 years as the state continues to grow in football prominence.

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