Georgia football-defensive line-2022 NFL Draft
Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker (44) during the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

First round of 2022 NFL Draft could further cement legendary status of Georgia football defensive line

When Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan are discussing heist plans in Ocean’s 11, Ryan — played by Brad Pitt — is caught off guard when Ocean — played by George Clooney — suggests that they’re not just going to rob one casino but three of them. Ryan can only chuckle and shake his head at the audacity of the idea.

Georgia’s defensive line may have its own moment like that on the first night of the upcoming NFL draft. A school that has not produced a first-round defensive lineman since 2003, could see three taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

The emergence and development of Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt and Travon Walker helps explain why Georgia won the National Championship this season.

The biggest impact Davis makes comes in the running game. As a freshman in 2018, Davis quickly found his way into Georgia’s defensive line rotation. As a sophomore in 2019, he played his way into a starting role as the nose tackle for the Bulldogs. In each of the next three seasons, Georgia gave up less than 80 rushing yards per game. The Bulldogs are the only team in the country that can say that, as Georgia finished first, first and second in rush defense over those three seasons.

Davis, who was also a beloved member of the Athens community, was the biggest reason why in both a literal and figurative sense. A team like the Los Angeles Chargers should sprint to the podium to call Davis’ name.

Related: Jordan Davis best captures a ‘forever legendary’ Georgia football team, celebration

Walker has the best chance to shoot up into the top-10, with teams placing a premium on edge rushers like Walker. He’ll need to turn in a strong performance at the NFL combine in early match, but athleticism has never been lacking for Walker.

Walker, Davis and Wyatt aren’t the Bulldogs who could hear their names called in the first round, with Nakobe Dean and Quay Walker also being mentioned as first-round picks.

Only once in school history has Georgia had three players taken in the first round of the NFL draft. That came in 2018, when Roquan Smith, Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel all heard their names called Roger Goodell on the first night.

That Georgia could have that experience with one position group probably has Kirby Smart and defensive line coach Tray Scott shaking their heads and chuckling about what said feat would mean for the Bulldogs and their defensive line room.

More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation

NextNational media weighs in on Jermaine Burton transfer from Georgia to …
Leave a Comment