Georgia football-2022 NFL Draft-decision makers
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during Georgia’s Pro Day in the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Multiple NFL decision makers give Georgia the ultimate praise in 2022 NFL Draft

The first record to fall with regards to Georgia football and the NFL draft came back in March. Yes, the Bulldogs tied the record for representatives at the NFL combine with 14. But more than that, when Georgia held its pro day on March 16, the Bulldogs welcomed 122 attendees from NFL teams.

Head coaches like Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick and Mike McCarthy were all in attendance. And whatever they and the various scouts on hand saw clearly made it back to the men making the picks at the 2022 NFL Draft. Consider some of the quotes coming from those who picked multiple Bulldogs in this past draft.

“It’s like one-stop shopping down there,” Philadelphia Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman told reporters. “You go to practice, you go to a game, you go visit that facility, and you’re just going, ‘Shoot, I’ll draft this whole team.’ It’s a great credit to their program and what they have done. You start talking about the guys because you knew guys were going to go higher in this draft than them, and everyone down there is like, ‘This player is this, this player is that,’ and to a man they are like, ‘Don’t forget Nakobe Dean. Don’t forget Nakobe Dean and what he means to this football team.’

“Where they’re coming from is about as close as you can get to the National Football League,” Gutekunst said.

Related: Georgia football winners and losers following 2022 NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons hadn’t drafted a Georgia player since 2011 and in one round on Saturday, the team took two in drafting Justin Shaffer and John FitzPatrick. Atlanta didn’t have something against Georgia in years past, but with so much top talent in this draft, it was hard to ignore what Shaffer and FitzPatrick bring to the table.

“It’s always great and it adds to it but that’s not the reason we drafted them,” Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith said in regards to picking two Georgia players. “We drafted them because they’re good football players and they fit what we’re looking for.”

In total, Georgia sent 15 players to 12 different teams in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 15 total selections are a record for one school in a single draft, one of the many records broken by Georgia in the 2022 Draft cycle.

Back in March, Georgia coach Kirby Smart spoke about the sheer number of NFL personnel that were at Georgia, seeing what the Bulldogs had in terms of talent. It proved to be a very encouraging sign of what was to come in the 2022 NFL Draft.

“We broke our own personal record of 122 NFL personnel here today and about five or six head coaches, more than we’ve ever had,” Smart said. “They’ve been very complimentary of our kids, the leadership of our players, the knowledge.

“I know several head coaches were here last night and sat down and watched tape of our players and went through each one by one. Really impressed with their football knowledge.”

All of those selections led to a lot of celebrating from the various Bulldogs who were picked. Whether it be Travon Walker going as the No. 1 overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars or FitzPatrick being the final selection on Saturday, social media was flooded with celebratory Bulldogs from over the weekend.

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