Andy Staples offers a straw for you to clutch tightly going into the offseason.
While the state of Georgia led the nation in draftees produced, the University of Georgia had only one player drafted (receiver Isaiah McKenzie, who grew up in Florida). There, Kirby Smart, is your mandate. Given the sheer volume of talent pumped out in America’s eighth-largest state—the Peach State produced 15 draftees in ’16, 30 in ’15 and 25 in ’14—the most popular college football program in the state should be able to produce the same kind of draft classes as Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State on a consistent basis. If that happens, it also would coincide with at least a few SEC East titles and opens up the possibility of SEC titles and playoff berths. This is why Georgia replaced Mark Richt with Smart, and it will be up to Smart to cultivate his (extremely fertile) recruiting grounds. If he does, West Georgia will never again have more players chosen than Georgia in one draft.
If Smart needs any inspiration, he can think back to his time with Nick Saban at Alabama. That staff’s first season was ’07. In the ’08 NFL draft, teams selected zero Crimson Tide players. They’ve taken 65 since then.
Ah, there we go again with Alabama’s infamous 2007 season. The comparisons are seemingly endless. So, if history doesn’t repeat itself, whom should we point the finger at?