Those were the days.

If you think one measure of a program’s level of talent is the number of early round draft picks a school generates, then this Chris Low piece should be of interest to you.  Georgia has certainly cranked out its fair share of talent during Richt’s career:  29 first, second and third-round selections over the last 10 years (most in the SEC); 10 first, second and third-round selections in the past 5 years (fourth-best in the conference).

And if you’re looking for an area of concern, maybe it’s this:  over the past ten years, Georgia’s had 10 of its players turn into first round draft picks, but only two of those, Moreno and Stafford, were from the past five seasons.  (That latter figure is tied with Vanderbilt.)  Whether that decline is due to recruiting or player development, I couldn’t say.  But I don’t think anyone would argue with the point that élite talent has been missing on the defensive side of the ball for a while now.


Filed under Georgia Football

18 responses to “Those were the days.

  1. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Certainly part of it is recruiting less elite talent and not developing the talent as well.

    However, a closer look at first rounds since 2006 reveals that, of all the 1st round picks, Calvin Johnson, Leodis McKelvin, Eric Berry and BeBe Thomas are the only 1st rounders from the state of Georgia.

    So, it seems while the state continues to turn out an unprecedented depth of players each year, it is not churning out super-elite talents. So, if UGA is still getting most of the best players from Georgia each year, maybe we should just look at this as a down cycle for elite talent and hope that the “Dream Team” contains a Champ Bailey or two.


    • Todd

      Kareem Jackson went in the first round didn’t he?


      • The Original Cynical in Athens

        You are right, forgot about Kareem Jackson.

        Just to take my point a little farther, though, look at the states immediately next to Georgia, both with much, much smaller populations, South Carolina and Alabama.

        Look at what those states have produced in the last 5 years.
        South Carolina has produced: Tye Hill, Johnathan Joseph, Gaines Adams, Lawrence Timmons, Robert Ayers.

        Alabama: Jason Allen, DeMeco Ryans (1st pick of 2nd round), JaMarcus Russell, Amobi Okoye, Ben Grubbs, Andre Smith, Rolando McClain.

        The numbers of recruits coming out of the three states would seem to point to Georgia producing a lot more 1st round picks than South Carolina or Alabama, but as you can see that is simply not the case.

        And while we like to beat up our coaching staff for “development,” take a look at the colleges of the players above. Nick Saban did not create all those monsters.

        Usually the top few picks are guys that were simply incredible coming out of high school and would have dominated no matter where they went. Do you think Steve Spurrier had anything to do with Marcus Lattimore? Of course not. From the time that kid stepped on campus, he was the best player at Scu.

        Additionally, how do you explain a tiny state like South Carolina producing superfreaks like DeQuan Bowers, AJ Green, Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney over a 5 year period, and Alabama producing Andre Smith, Rolandon McClain, Julio Jones and Marcel Dareus, while the state of Georgia only produced Eric Berry in that class athletically?

        Trey Blackmon and Allen Bailey inability to become superstars cannot be blamed on Willie Martinez. I think it is just a cyclical thing.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      I think you’ve got a good point.


  2. The other Doug

    What about the diamonds on the rough? We don’t have a system to recruit and develop guys like Pollack or Thomas Davis anymore. Perhaps, that was all Van Gorder.


  3. ScoutDawg

    Maybe not DUMB luck, but luck nevertheless.


    • Zdawg

      Maybe dumb luck and VanGorder’s eye for spotting talent on a basketball court ala Thomas Davis.

      And who decided to put Pollack at end? Anyone know that?


  4. Dave

    Ummmmm……..that would be player development. Recruiting has never been an issue under Richt. The Martinez method of defending triangles of “space” instead of you know, the receiver, is how do we say, “not so good”. Plus it’s pretty obvious we were blessed with a bad a** coach with BVG in the early 2000s. From first to worst in one coordinator change. Luckily, we’ll see what Grantham can really do this year.


    • Scott W.

      Defending triangles in space…I think we have a game idea!


    • Todd

      I don’t see them bringing in the big time D-lineman and Lbs the last few years. I really don’t see them bringing in O-lineman that are durable.

      I really don’t think that Georgia has put in the time in evaluating and digging deep to find the diamonds.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Actually, Gary Gibbs did very well as DC in his one-and-only year under Donnan – the year before CMR/BVG took over. I was sorry when Gibbs wasn’t held over by CMR, but BVG was obviously the best DC you could ask for.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        The problem that year was on offense and his name was Quincy Carter. What do Quincy Carter and Billy Graham have in common? They can both get 90,000 people in a football stadium to all jump up at the same time and shout “Jesus!”


  5. W Cobb Dawg

    When I think of the Dawgs player development, the word ‘develop’ seems misplaced. With the possible exception of QB’s and K’s, most recruits end up being underachievers. Recruit evaluations went down hill when Donnan left, and player development took a nosedive when BVG left. CMR can recruit when motivated, but players like Stafford, Moreno & Green had ‘first round’ written on their foreheads before they hit campus. Does anyone think we ‘coach our players up’?


    • JaxDawg

      Richt and Bobo can coach the QB’s very well. Doesn’t appear we’ve done a very good job of coaching the Rb’s and Wr’s as of late, excluding Knowshon and AJ but that type of talent doesn’t come around often.

      We obviously haven’t done shit on defense except for Houston and a couple others. Hopefully that will change this year.