Lewis Cine: Georgia ‘heat-seeking missile’ shooting up 2022 NFL Draft boards
Cine, the Bulldogs’ Defensive MVP in the 33-18 CFP Championship Game win over Alabama, might have been the most overlooked superstar of Georgia’s pending record-setting draft class.
The 2022 NFL Draft takes place April 28-30 in Las Vegas.
Georgia has 15 players with NFL draft grades and is sure to break the school mark of nine players selected in one draft, and could tie or break the all-time mark of 14 players picked in one draft by LSU in 2020.
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Cine is among the players developed by Bulldogs’ coach Kirby Smart has improved each season.
“People think of me as just a hitter, (but) I see myself as an all-around playmaker,” said Cine, who led the Bulldogs with 73 tackles last season. “I show up when I’m needed, and I’m always around the ball. I think that I’m a smart player. I can get guys lined up. When guys are wrong, I can make them right I have range, I’m fast, and I can come from top down extremely fast.”
Cine’s a humble player, but the NFL Combine was a time to show out in the testing and answer questions about himself when asked.
Smart, a former All-SEC safety himself who stays involved coaching the position at Georgia, has no problem speaking on behalf of the outgoing All-SEC safety.
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“Lewis is a special talent,” Smart said. “He has extremely good speed, he has extremely good toughness, has good ball skills, good size.
“When you design a safety, he’s got all the qualities, and he’s really been a student of the game.”
It showed, with Cine serving as the last line of defense on a historically dominant defense that allowed fewer points per game in the regular season (6.9) than any team since 1986 Oklahoma.
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Pro Football Network NFL Draft analyst Oliver Hodgkinson didn’t hold back in his assessment of the 6-foot-2, 199-pound Cine:
“A hard-hitting, tough-tackling, insane athlete, the Georgia safety has the talent to be a truly great NFL player. His ascension among national NFL Draft media might have taken some time, but Cine’s scouting report contains all the traits to be an immediate high-level contributor at the NFL level.”
If Cine’s game film wasn’t enough, his NFL combine performance spoke volumes.
Cine ran a 4.37-second time in the 40-yard dash, had a 36.5-inch vertical jump and showed his explosivity with the 133-inch broad jump.