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Which NFL team is the best fit for former Georgia defensive lineman Trenton Thompson?

Draft Dawgs: Which NFL team is best fit for Georgia DL Trenton Thompson?

Cy Brown

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

The best fit for Trenton Thompson

The 2018 NFL Draft figures to be a historic one for Georgia football. Ten former Bulldogs are invited to work out at the NFL combine next week in Indianapolis. If all 10 are drafted, it would be the largest draft class in UGA history.

During draft season, a lot of folks try to figure out which players are the best fits for each team. But we’re taking the opposite approach and figuring out which team is the best fit for each player. Over the next few weeks, we’ll give you a Bulldogs-by-Bulldogs look at which NFL team is most likely to help each reach their full potential. Here’s a look at defensive lineman Trenton Thompson.

Trenton Thompson, DL

6-foot-4, 295 pounds, 21 years old

Projected: Rounds 2-5

Thompson’s decision to jump to the NFL following his junior season was questioned by many who believed he could stick around another season and significantly raise his draft stock. That decision also led to the wide range of rounds he could go be drafted in. See, Thompson is a mega-talented player, maybe one of the most talented on Georgia’s roster the last few seasons, and while he’s shown some flashes of brilliance, like his 3-sack showing in the 2016 Liberty Bowl, he’s been inconsistent and injury-prone. He’s also hampered by not knowing what position he’ll play in the pros. Thompson played a three-technique in college, but may be better suited to play a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. Thompson is a high-risk, high-reward player. The earlier he’s drafted the more risk the team that picks him assumes. But if he lives up to his potential, he could be an absolute steal.

The best fit: Atlanta Falcons

Because he probably came out a year too early, Thompson will not enter the NFL a finished product. He’s still got a lot of developing to do. The ideal landing spot for Thompson is somewhere that already has a few proven defensive linemen he can sit behind and learn from, but not so many that he’ll want for snaps. In my opinion, that’s the Falcons. Grady Jarrett is one of the best young defensive linemen in the league and Dontari Poe is a veteran and pro-bowler. Poe is a free agent, but if he stays in Atlanta, Thompson will have two really good players to work behind and learn his trade from. And if Poe leaves, Thompson will have the chance to step in and earn a lot of minutes alongside Jarrett, Vic Beasley, Deion Jones, Keanu Neal and the rest of the young, talented Atlanta defense.

Next best fits: Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Washington

The best fit forRoquan Smith 

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‘I’m going to miss you all. My people. Dawg Nation.’

I didn’t think Sony Michel could be more beloved by Dawgs fans than he already is, but then he goes and does something like this.

Over at The Player’s Tribune, Michel penned an open letter to Georgia fans called “Thank You, Georgia.” It’ll give you goosebumps, make you well up a bit and maybe even give you new respect for Michel and the other players on the team. It’s a good reminder that these guys aren’t just football players. They’re students and valuable members of the Athens community who like to freestyle with friends and eat burgers at Grindhouse.

And it’s quite something to read Michel admit that he was bummed to come in as a top recruit and immediately be cast as a second-stringer following Nick Chubb’s incredible freshman season. But Michel says UGA fans went out of their way to make sure he knew it’s not Chubb then Michel, it’s Chubb and Michel.

It wasn’t always easy for me at Georgia. Coming in as a top recruit and then not becoming the primary back was difficult, mainly because of the standard I’ve always set for myself. Nick Chubb is one of my best friends in the world, so that made things easier in some ways. But I’m not gonna lie, it was still tough at first.

The thing is, Georgia fans, and the whole UGA community, went out of their way to make it clear that I actually wasn’t a second-string back. You guys made me feel special, and every time my name was called, you showed me love as if I was the starter. Then, before every home game, the team would list me in the starting lineup. They’d have two running backs at the top of the depth chart, which is something you don’t see too many places do.

I encourage everyone who hasn’t already to take some time and read the entire post, but before we moved on, I wanted to single out one more passage from Michel’s post regarding the National Championship Game.

But I really hope everyone out there understands how badly we wanted to bring that championship home for Dawg Nation. I know it still stings, for all of us, but I hope that we gave you all enough amazing memories throughout the season that you can forgive us for not getting it done on that night in Atlanta.

I think I speak for Georgia fans all over when I say there is nothing to forgive. Sony Michel, DGD.

Persistence pays off

Read this post about Derick “Rambo” Hunter from Jeff Sentell of DawgNation and it’s hard not to come away with the impression that he’s all-Dawg. The 4-star DE from Fort Myers, Fla., who said he plans to wait until a high school all-star game after his senior season to commit, only has one school on his list right now.

“I love Georgia,” Hunter said, according to Sentell. “I don’t even have any other top school. Georgia is number one. Georgia is number one. Period. Point blank. All the other schools are just there to be there. Georgia is number one.”

But as notable as that is, it isn’t that interesting. Kirby Smart and his staff have made Georgia the top school for dozens of coveted high school recruits. What’s more interesting is how Smart and his staff do it. And Hunter gave some details that go a long way toward explaining how Smart has been able to dominate other coaches on the recruiting trail.

“Every day constantly every member of the (UGA) staff is hitting me up. Some of these schools call me once a week to try and build that relationship. They say let’s talk once a week and let’s build a relationship. It is not like that with Georgia. It is an everyday thing. I’m talking to different people from the staff. Not just one member. It is not just one dude I hear from at Georgia. It is just the honest and what seems like automatic love from the Georgia staff that makes me feel like a top priority.”

“I know I am a top priority when Kirby Smart texts me every day or every other day. That’s crazy because other head coaches do not text me every day. They will just send me little things, but I can sit down and have a conversation with Kirby Smart. The future is bright at Georgia and I love what is going on there.”

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Head tilt game strong.

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