Okay, the news from the NFL draft hasn’t exactly been great so far, if you’re a Georgia fan.
Alabama had nine players drafted in the first three rounds.
The SEC had eleven players drafted in the first round.
Where was Georgia in all of this? Welp,
Sorry I asked.
You don’t have to try too hard to take see silver lining framing that dark cloud, though. As Seth Emerson noted the other day, this is essentially the end product from the disastrous 2013 class.
First, there are the players that are gone.
There are also other players who could be drafted who started their careers at Georgia:
Safety-outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemson, who started almost every game as a sophomore in 2013, then was dismissed from the team. He ended up at Louisville.
Cornerback Brendan Langley left the team after losing his starting spot during the 2014 season. Langley ended up at Lamar, an FCS program, and has a chance of hearing his name called on Saturday.
Then there’s the controversial Jonathan Taylor, whose career at Georgia was derailed by his 2014 domestic violence arrest. He ended up at Alabama, where he was also accused of domestic violence, then landed at a Division II school. Taylor almost certainly would be drafted somewhere if it weren’t for his track record, but someone may take a flyer anyway.
Then, there are the players who could have gone, but stayed.
Star tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel stunned many by returning for their senior years. While they weren’t guaranteed to be high draft picks, they would have been picked. The same probably goes for outside linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy, and safety Dominick Sanders.
That’s five players who would have pushed Georgia’s draft number much higher this year, with several potentially going in the high rounds.
Bottom line, as bad as things went in 2013, the classes that followed are generally of high quality and the vast majority of those signees are still on campus. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of conference talent that is in the process of departing. The end result is a leveling of the playing field between the Dawgs and the rest of the conference, at least from a talent standpoint. Now comes the rest of what’s needed to succeed, I hope.