ATHENS — The 2020 NFL Combine is just more than a week away, but you can bet it can’t get here soon enough for at least three of Georgia’s highest-projected players.
Andrew Thomas, D’Andre Swift and Jake Fromm, expected to be picked as early as the first round in that order, have trailed off in recent NFL mock drafts.
In one sense, that’s somewhat logical considering all three are underclassmen who did not have the benefit of a Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine Game all-star appearance to boost their stock.
Thomas elected to sit out the Sugar Bowl, where he could have impressed going up against Big 12 Player of the Year James Lynch.
Swift, meanwhile, was limited in the postseason after getting knocked out of the Georgia Tech game with a bruised shoulder.
But there’s also a shell game of sorts taking place.
It’s common for NFL teams to hide their interest in a player right up until draft day, to the extent some get selected by teams that didn’t interview them during the process.
Still, a recent mock draft from CBSsports.com analyst Chris Trapasso raised eyebrows when it excluded Swift as a projected first-round pick.
Swift has almost universally been projected as the top tailback in the NFL draft with most predicting he will be selected in the first round by Miami with the 18th overall pick, if not the Dolphins’ selection at No. 26 in the first round.
Trapasso has stood firm on Andrew Thomas, however, keeping him at No. 10 to the Cleveland Browns while a handful of others have recently dropped Thomas.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay dropped Thomas and Swift from his first mock draft in December to his most recent one earlier this month.
McShay originally had Thomas going No. 7 overall to the New York Jets, the first offensive tackle off the draft board.
But in his most recent mock early this month, McShay projected Thomas No. 18 overall to Miami, as the fifth offensive tackle selected.
McShay also dropped Swift a spot, from a projected No. 21 overall landing spot at Tennessee, to No. 22 to the Buffalo Bills.
McShay has been vocal in his support of Fromm, saying he has first-round talent. But McShay still doesn’t project a team selecting Fromm in the opening round.
NFL.com analyst and former NFL scout Bucky Brooks doesn’t have Fromm ranked among the top five quarterbacks in his most recent offering.
Brooks does have Swift ranked as the top tailback prospect, but he has Andrew Thomas slotted as the No. 3 offensive tackle.
DawgNation: Georgia in the NFL draft