ATHENS — Azeez Ojulari’s NFL draft stock continues to soar, per the most recent mock from the NFL Draft Bible website.
The Bulldogs, who could set a school record for the most number of players selected in one draft, are projected to have three first-run picks per the SI.com mock.
The Detroit Lions will pick Ojulari No. 7 overall per SI.com, particularly if he tips the scales higher than the 240 pounds he has been listed at.
“Ojulari is arguably the best defensive prospect in this class and the Lions need to start building a defensive line that can get to the quarterback,” per SI.com.
“The Lions have desperately needed a pass rush in recent years, (and) Ojulari could definitely help fix that. He might not be a super well-known commodity in the top ten at this point, but the pre-draft process will be critical for his ascension.
“If he can demonstrate his athleticism through testing and maybe weigh-in over his listed 240 pounds, more will jump on the bandwagon. His biggest concern is weight and scheme fit.”
Ojulari’s skills are well-documented, and it seems the word is finally getting out from NFL teams about how impressed they were with UGA cornerback Eric Stokes.
Stokes, who is expected to run a sub-4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash at UGA Pro Day on March 17 in Athens, is popping up in the first round of more and more NFL mock drafts, including SI.com’s most recent.
The publication has Stokes going No. 17 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders.
“There have been reports of Stokes measuring in at over 6-feet tall and 190-plus pounds,” per Si.Com. “If that’s the case, with his speed and length, it becomes a no-brainer for the Raiders, who have struggled with depth in the secondary.”
SI.com has UGA cornerback Tyson Campbell projected No. 28 overall to the New Orleans Saints.
Campbell, like Stokes, is a speed merchant.
There weren’t any other Georgia players in the top three rounds of the SI.com mock draft, although there’s plenty of time for players to escalate.
UGA center Trey Hill and tight end Tre’ McKitty both were ranked in the top five at their position by former NFL scout and current NFL.com draft analyst Bucky Brooks.
Georgia cornerback DJ Daniel and nickleback Mark Webb had strong showings at the Senior Bowl and left the all-star game in Mobile on the rise.
Ben Cleveland’s size impressed at a position where NFL teams are looking to get bigger to prevent defenses from pushing the pocket versus smaller, more mobile quarterbacks.
Malik Herring suffered a torn ACL during the Senior Bowl week of practice, but before his injury the Carolina Panthers’ staff were moving Herring all around and he made the most of it by showing great technique and winning in drills.
Safety Richard LeCounte was projected as a first-round pick by some before his Halloween Night motorcycle crash. LeCounte has let people know on social media he’s healing, and if that’s the case, NFL teams will surely take note and his stock will rise.
Middle linebacker Monty Rice is another player who could be selected within the top three rounds provided his medical evaluation comes up strong. Rice is excellent against the run, and he improved his pass coverage skills this season before a foot injury slowed him the second half of the season.
The Bulldogs have a chance to break their record of 8 players selected in one draft (set in 2002, 2013), as 10 players have a shot at being selected within the seven rounds.
OLB Azeez Ojulari
CB Eric Stokes
CB Tyson Campbell
LB Monty Rice
OL Trey Hill
OL Ben Cleveland
CB DJ Daniel
TE Tre’ McKitty
SS Richard LeCounte
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