Latest Todd McShay, Mel Kiper Jr. mock draft has two more Bulldogs going to New England
In 2018, the New England Patriots used both of their first-round draft picks on Georgia players. Isaiah Wynn was taken with the No. 23 pick, while Sony Michel was taken with the No. 31 pick. Michel went on to score the only touchdown in New England’s Super Bowl win.
And as the 2019 NFL Draft approaches, the pipeline from Georgia to New England could only get stronger. As many as eight former Bulldogs are expected to get taken in this year’s draft. And ESPN’s draft gurus — Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay — have two more Bulldogs heading up north to play with Tom Brady.
In a three-round mock draft, Kiper and McShay had both Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley heading to the New England. McShay took Ridley with the No. 73 pick in the draft. Kiper then took Hardman with pick No. 101.
“Yeah, we got the Riley Ridley for the Pats already,” Kiper Jr. wrote. “But they still need a slot receiver. Enter Hardman, who is electric with the ball in his hands. He’ll also help in the return game.”
Hardman and Ridley both signed as a part of the 2016 signing class, Kirby Smart’s first at Georgia. The two also declared early following the 2018 season. Hardman had 36 catches for 532 yards last season. Hardman also shined as a punt returner last season as well.
Ridley hauled in 44 catches for 570 yards and 9 touchdowns. Ridley is the younger brother of Calvin Ridley, who the Atlanta Falcons took in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Hardman and Ridley weren’t the only two Bulldogs in the draft. Deandre Baker was pegged to go to the Tennessee Titans with the No. 19 overall pick. He was the first cornerback taken in the mock draft. Baker will be at this year’s draft, which is being held in Nashville, Tenn.
A fourth Georgia player was selected to go in the third round, as outside linebacker D’Andre Walker was taken with the No. 94 pick by the Los Angeles Rams. Walker has been recovering from surgery following Georgia’s 2018 season. But he did lead the Bulldogs with 7.5 sacks last season.
“Walker has stellar traits. Why didn’t he produce for the Bulldogs?” Kiper Jr. asked. “There’s a wide range on where he’ll go, but a team that runs a 3-4 defense — hello, Wade Phillips — could take him in Round 3.”
The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is set for Thursday, April 25. The second and third rounds will take place on Friday, April 26. Rounds four through seven will finish up on Saturday, April 26. Bulldogs like Isaac Nauta, Elijah Holyfield and Jonathan Ledbetter are expected to be day three picks.