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Andrew Thomas might be Georgia's best overall player heading into the 2019 season.

ESPN names Georgia standout Andrew Thomas to early 2019 All-American team

Around the Dawghouse will bring you daily updates from what people and publications are saying about Georgia, from inside and outside of Athens. 

Georgia football’s Andrew Thomas named All-American by ESPN

Georgia brings back a number of talented players in 2019, such as quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D’Andre Swift. But there may not be a more talented player on Georgia’s roster than rising junior offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.

Thomas emerged as Georgia’s standout left tackle this season after starting every game at right tackle as a freshman. And ESPN’s David Hale has high expectations for Thomas heading into his third season, as he was named a member of ESPN’s Too-early All-American team for 2019.

“Thomas went from No. 40 recruit to freshman All-American in 2017 to All-SEC first team and an overall All-America candidate as a sophomore in 2018,” Hale wrote. “Thomas started 13 games at left tackle for Georgia after starting 15 at right tackle the season before. Thomas was an integral part of a squad that had the second-lowest rate of pressures of any Power 5 offense and ranked seventh nationally in yards per rush.”

Thomas was the only Georgia player to be named to the team. Some of the other names who made the list include Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and LSU safety Grant Delpit also made the team.

If Swift plays like he did to close the 2018 regular season, when he topped 100 yards in four of Georgia’s last five games, he too could very much find himself as an All-American candidate in 2019. As for Georgia’s defense, safety J.R. Reed could be a name to watch, as well as linebacker Monty Rice, who was having a strong season before suffering a foot injury before the UMass game.

Georgia had one All-American in 2018, as Deandre Baker made received the honor. Baker was also named the Jim Thorpe Award  winner, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back.

Mel Kiper Jr. pegs Deandre Baker as a top 10 pick

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. is the godfather of the NFL draft, and the longtime expert dropped his first mock draft for the 2019 NFL Draft. And Kiper Jr. thinks very highly of Baker. 

Kiper Jr. has Baker going to the Denver Broncos with the No. 10 overall pick.

“Baker isn’t far behind Greedy Williams as the top corner in this class. General manager John Elway hit on his 2018 draft class, and he needs another good one to get the team back on track under new coach Vic Fangio.”

The Georgia cornerback is rated as the No. 12 overall prospect on Kiper’s Big Board, which ranks prospects regardless of team fit. If Baker is picked in the top 10, he would become the fourth Bulldog in the past five years to do so, joining Todd Gurley, Leonard Floyd and Roquan Smith.

As far as other draft eligible Bulldogs, Kiper Jr. has center Lamont Gaillard rated as his No. 6 center and outside linebacker D’Andre Walker as his No. 8 outside linebacker. Walker will have a chance to improve his stock at the Senior Bowl next week in Mobile, Ala. Defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter will also participate in the Senior Bowl as well.

Tight end Isaac Nauta, running back Elijah Holyfield and wide receivers Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman all declared early for the draft, but Kiper Jr. did not rank any of them as a top-10 player at their position. The 2019 NFL Draft is set for April 26-28 and will be held in Nashville, Tenn.

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