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Georgia’s top 2019 prospects
2018 was a banner year for Georgia football in the NFL draft. The Dawgs had six players taken in the 2018 NFL Draft — a school-record three going in the first round — which is tied for third-most from a single school alongside three others. Georgia is traditionally one of the top-performing programs in the NFL draft, and there’s no reason to expect that to slow down under coach Kirby Smart.
Although Georgia is unlikely to see three players selected in the first round again in 2019, there are still plenty of talented Dawgs who teams will be lining up to draft. A lot can and will change between now and next April, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take an early look at Georgia’s best potential draftees. In order, here are the players I consider to be UGA’s top 2019 NFL Draft prospects:
- Deandre Baker, CB, Senior — Baker figures to be Georgia’s best prospect in the 2019 draft, as well as Georgia’s best corner prospect since Tim Jennings. If he is as dominant this season as he was last, there’s a good chance he’ll go off the board in the first round.
- Tyler Clark, DT, Junior — Clark made larger strides than perhaps any other Georgia player last season and ended the year as one of the best on defense. He has all the size and athleticism you want from an NFL defensive lineman. If he progresses as much as a junior year as he did as a sophomore, I doubt he’ll stick around for a fourth year.
- J.R. Reed, S, Redshirt junior — Reed plays with aggression, instincts and speed. He’s a missile in the secondary. On top of all that, his father played in the NFL. In all likelihood, he’ll be ready to make the jump next season.
- D’Andre Walker, OLB, Senior — Walker led the team in sacks as a backup last season. It’s safe to say he has the pass-rushing aspect of his game down pat. More will be asked of him this season, but if he’s consistently proficient in coverage and against the run, he could be next in a growing line of Georgia linebackers to go high in the draft.
- Jonathan Ledbetter, DE, Senior — Ledbetter considered jumping to the NFL after his junior season but decided to take one more season to refine his skills. If he can become a more adept pass rusher, his stock should go up this season.
- Terry Godwin, WR, Senior — Aside from a few highlight-reel snags, Godwin has been steady but unspectacular in his first three seasons. But he’ll be a major target for Jake Fromm this season, giving him a good chance to raise his stock.
- Isaac Nauta, TE, Junior — Nauta looked like a future star as a freshman but saw a huge dip in production as a sophomore, thanks to a diminished focus on tight ends in the passing game. That isn’t necessarily a negative, though. It’s allowed him to improve his blocking and become a more complete tight end. Regardless of production, he has all the measurables to play in the NFL.
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Dawgs in the NFL
For your convenience, here’s a chart of showing where former Dawgs, drafted and undrafted, landed in the NFL.
4-star ILB/ATH commits to Georgia
Last week was crazy busy for Georgia football in the recruiting department, but it did feature a perfect ending, a commitment from a top in-state prospect.
Four-star Clinch County inside linebacker/athlete Trezman Marshall went public with his pledge to the Bulldogs on Friday. He’s rated as the 98th-best prospect in the nation for the recruiting class of 2019 by 247Sports. According to Jeff Sentell of DawgNation, Marshall said he still plans to take all five of his official visits.
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