ATHENS — D’Andre Walker has emerged as another potential first-round pick from Georgia in the upcoming NFL draft.
NFL.com analyst Peter Schrager projected Walker to be selected with the No. 32 overall pick by the New England Patriots.
“Walker burst onto the scene during his senior year in Athens, recording 7.5 sacks and flying all over the field in big games,” Schrager wrote in his NFL.com story. “Never underestimate Bill Belichick’s love of players who were coached by guys he respects. Kirby Smart is one of them. The Pats took a pair of first-rounders out of Georgia a year ago, and they’ll grab another in 2019.”
Belichick’s respect for Smart’s program has been well documented, and he attended the Georgia Pro Day last Wednesday instead of going to see Ohio State’s in Columbus.
WATCH: Kirby Smart comments on Bill Belichick presence, UGA players
“I think Kirby’s program is excellent to prepare guys for the National Football League,” said Belichick, who selected UGA players Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and signed center David Andrews as a free agent in 2015.
Walker, who underwent double hernia surgery on Jan. 23, has tentatively scheduled a workout for NFL teams on April 12.
A 6-foot-2, 251-pounder, Walker was enjoying an MVP performance in the SEC title game when he left injured in the third quarter with Georgia leading Alabama 28-21.
Bulldogs’ cornerback Deandre Baker has been almost universally projected as a first-round NFL draft pick.
Receiver Riley Ridley is another departing Bulldog off the 2018 team that has captured the interest of many and found himself projected to be selected in the first round.
RELATED: Riley Ridley continues to get first-round NFL draft talk
The NFL draft takes place in Nashville, Tenn., and runs from April 25-27.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. indicated to AJC Falcons reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter on a conference call that he sees Walker as a “Day Three” pick.
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