Mel Kiper Jr. projects Georgia football back-to-back with No. 1 overall NFL draft picks

Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter celebrates in the closing minutes of their win against TCU in the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship at SoFi Stadium, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Ca. Georgia won 65-7. (Jason Getz /

Georgia football might not be done going back-to-back if Mel Kiper Jr. got it right with his first 2023 NFL mock draft on the ESPN pay site.

UGA All-American Jalen Carter, one of the Bulldogs’ future best bets for the College Football Hall of Fame, is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick for the Chicago Bears, per Kiper.

The 2022 national champs, who upstaged the historically defensively dominant 2021 group by winning the SEC title, also look to have more than one first-round pick.

Kiper predicts that Broderick Jones, who anchored an offensive line that allowed only 9 sacks, will be the second UGA player off the board at No. 16 to the Washington Commanders.

“Jones is a 310-pound mauler who didn’t allow a single sack as the Bulldogs’ left tackle in 2022,” Kiper said. “I wouldn’t be shocked if he went in the top 10.”

Kiper stopped with only two Georgia players being selected in his first round, but other mock drafts have suggested cornerback Kelee Ringo, tight end Darnell Washington and outside linebacker Nolan Smith as other first-round possibilities.

Tailback Kenny McIntosh and safety Chris Smith are considered “Second Day Picks,” both likely second- or third-round picks.

Georgia offensive tackle Warren McClendon is a possible early Day Three pick in the fourth or fifth round, while quarterback Stetson Bennett and kicker Jack Podlesny are hopeful to make teams as late-round picks or free-agent signees.

RELATED: Oddsmakers list odds of Stetson Bennett of being selected round by round

Here’s where Kiper ranked Georgia players at their position group entering the NFL Draft evaluation process.

Participation (or lack thereof) in all-star games along with NFL combine and team combine performances, medical evaluations and measurements will likely have an effect.


1. Will Levis, Kentucky

2. Bryce Young, Alabama

3. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

4. Anthony Richardson, Florida

5. Clayton Tune, Houston

6. Jaren Hall, BYU

7. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

8. Stetson Bennett, Georgia

9. Jake Haener, Fresno State

10. Tanner McKee, Stanford.

Running backs

12. Kenny McIntosh


Kiper does not have Kearis Jackson among his Top 10 or 5 “just missed” choices at receiver or his Top 10 returners.

Tight ends

4. Darnell Washington

Offensive tackles

3. Broderick Jones

14. Warren McClendon

Defensive tackles

1. Jalen Carter

Outside linebackers

No. 5 Nolan Smith


No. 6 Kelee Ringo


No. 6 Christopher Smith


No. 7 Jack Podlesny

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