ATHENS — Georgia football could be looking at a record NFL draft class, but projections for where many of the outgoing Bulldogs will go are all over the map.
Georgia had six players at the Senior Bowl in Mobile last month, and from all indications, the players who played in the game all boosted their NFL draft stock.
Even Malik Herring, who suffered a torn ACL in practice, opened eyes with his pass rush technique in the practice sessions and showcased his versatility.
It was as important of a Senior Bowl as there has ever been in history, as the NFL combine has been canceled on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bulldogs Pro Day, scheduled for March 17, will also be of great importance even though NFL head coaches and general managers aren’t expected to travel to on-campus sites as much as past years on account of the COVID-related restrictions in place.
Some of these decision-makers, however, might make an exception for Georgia.
Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari is universally considered a first-round NFL draft pick, and cornerbacks Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell each have the potential of running a 40-yard dash in under 4.40 seconds.
It’s one thing for NFL coaches to hear about a player running a sub 4.4 40, but it’s quite another to see it or time it in person.
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
CB DJ Daniel
TE Tre’ McKitty
SS Richard LeCounte
DB Mark Webb
NFL.com analyst and former scout Bucky Brooks released his top 5 players at each position on Wednesday, and Ojulari was of course among the top in his group.
1. Zaven Collins, Tulsa
2. Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
3. Joseph Ossai, Texas
4. Chris Rumph ll, Ruke
5. Baron Browning, Ohio State
McKitty, who had an extremely strong Senior Bowl week and was voted by his peers as the best at his position, has also worked his way up into Brooks’ Top 5.
1. Kyle Pitts, Florida
2. Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
3. Hunter Long, Boston College
4. Brevin Jordan, Miami
5. Tre’ McKitty, Georgia
“McKitty has all of the physical tools coaches covet in a flex tight end,” Brooks penned. “Despite his limited production, the Georgia product’s combination of size, speed and athleticism will make him a hot commodity in scouting circles.”
More interesting were some of the Georgia players who were not ranked in the top 5 at their respective positions, most notably, Stokes and Campbell.
1. Patrick Surtain ll, Alabama
2. Caleb Farley, Virginia
3. Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
4. Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
5. Elijah Molden, Washington
“The depth and talent of this year’s collection of long, athletic and versatile corners will enable teams to find starters outside of Day 1,” Brooks penned, suggesting just how competitive the draft is at the position this season.
Former Georgia team captain Richard LeCounte, who suffered multiple injuries in a Halloween Night dirt bike crash, did not attend the Senior Bowl and is not among Brooks’ Top 5 safeties.
LeCounte was considered a late-first, early-second round pick before the motorcycle accident, according to some NFL draft analysts.
1. Trevor Moehrig, TCU
2. Jevon Holland, Oregon
3. Caden Sterns, Texas
4. Andre Cisco, Syracuse
5. Hamsan Nasirildeen, Florida State