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Mel Kiper Jr. lists 2 Georgia football standouts in first round of 2020 NFL Mock Draft

Perhaps the most well-known NFL draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr., has put out his first 2020 NFL Mock Draft. And he’s got two Georgia football standouts pegged to be first-round picks in this year’s NFL draft.

Kiper Jr. has offensive tackle Andrew Thomas being taken with the No. 8 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals. Thomas is the first left tackle taken in Kiper’s mock draft, ahead of the likes of Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Iowa’s Tristan Wirks.

“This is about the range in which we could see a run on offensive tackles, and Thomas, who has played on both the left and right, is No. 1 on my board,” Kiper Jr. wrote.  “This comes down to protecting the franchise quarterback, and Arizona desperately needs help along its line, particularly at left tackle, where starter D.J. Humphries is a free agent.”

Thomas had a stellar career in his time at Georgia, earning All-SEC honors in addition to being named the SEC’s top offensive lineman in his 2019 season. Thomas started every game at right tackle as a freshman and spent the last two seasons anchoring the offensive line from the left tackle spot.

RelatedGeorgia football’s Andrew Thomas first-round NFL draft lock, Cleveland popular projection

Across multiple mock drafts, many see Thomas slotting in at that fringe top-10 range. The Cleveland Browns have also been frequently mentioned as a team that could land Thomas in the draft, as they have a similar need at the left tackle position.

The other Bulldog that is currently expected to go in the first round is running back D’Andre Swift. Kiper Jr. has the Miami Dolphins selecting Swift with the No. 26 pick in the draft. Miami has three first-round picks this year, as the Dolphins also pick at No. 5 and No. 18.

Swift had a career-year as a junior in 2019, as he ran for 1,218 yards. And he often did it against loaded fronts, given Georgia’s passing game woes. In his Georgia career, Swift also flashed as a receiver as he caught 73 passes in his time in Athens.

Kiper Jr. also had Swift as his top running back and the only one taken in the first round. Joe Burrow is Kiper’s first overall pick, going to the Cincinnati Bengals.

This year’s NFL draft will place in Las Vegas on April 23-25. Thomas and Swift will get a chance to showcase their talents at the NFL draft combine, which is set to begin on Feb. 24 in Indianapolis. Other Bulldogs hoping to impress NFL teams include Jake Fromm, Isaiah Wilson and J.R. Reed.

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