ATHENS — Georgia football has dominated the NFL draft boards the past three seasons with record-breaking draft classes.

The Bulldogs had nine players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, an eye-popping 15 picked in 2022 and another 10 last season.

The hype for this season has died down, however, as Smart and his No. 1-ranked program look to replenish key positions as they begin play this third week of the season with a 3:30 p.m. game against South Carolina (TV: CBS).

The Bulldogs, it’s worth noting, are the only undefeated team left among the SEC’s preseason championship favorites, with LSU, Alabama and Texas A&M all suffering upset losses.

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For all of the preseason accolades doled out to the Bulldogs, who had 11 preseason first-team All-SEC selections, the 2024 NFL Draft board is somewhat void of SEC players.

The league led the nation in draft picks for the 17th consecutive years, with 62 NFL picks last spring after having 65 picks in both the 2022 and 2021 drafts.

Tight end Brock Bowers, at the moment, is the only Georgia player that Mel Kiper Jr. is projecting a first-round FNL Draft pick in the 2024 class.

Bowers, limited to just one catch for 3 yards in the 45-3 win over Ball State, is still considered a “nightmare matchup for defenses,” per Kiper.

“He has great hand-eye coordination and run-after-the-catch ability, and he can stretch the field down the seams,” per Kiper in his most recent ESPN-plus NFL Draft-related article.

“I also love the way he tracks the ball, high-pointing it above defenders.”

Kiper doesn’t currently project any other Georgia players as first-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, which could come as a surprise to agents representing safety Javon Bullard and Amarius Mims.

It’s also interesting not to see Carson Beck or Kendall Milton — or any other SEC signal-callers or backs — ranked in Kiper’s quarterback or running position rankings.

Other notable Georgia players missing from the tops at their position groups:

WR Ladd McConkey

OG Tate Ratledge

DT Nazir Stackhouse

LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson

CB Kamari Lassiter

P Brett Thorson

Here’s a look at where Kiper has some Georgia and SEC players ranked into his projections at their various positions:


3. Malik Nabers, LSU

Tight ends

1. Brock Bowers


4. Trey Knox, South Carolina

Offensive tackles

3. JC Latham, Alabama

4. Amarius Mims


1. Sedrick Van Pran

6. Beaux Limmer, Arkansas

Defensive tackles

4. Maason Smith, LSU

6. McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

Off-ball linebackers

4. Smael Mondon

Outside linebackers

2. Dallas Turner, Alabama


1. Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

6. Jason Marshall Jr., Florida


6. Javon Bullard


2. Will Reichard, Alabama

3. Harrison Mevis, Missouri


2. Kai Kroeger, South Carolina