The NFL Draft is this Thursday, and one of the many storylines heading in revolves around the Georgia Bulldogs and how many members of the most recent National Championship team will be selected not only in the first round, but in the top 100 picks.
Georgia’s 2021 season was one for the ages, with a defense that some consider to be one of the best college football has ever seen. Naturally, with a defense that gets that kind of notoriety, the majority of the talent will be on the defensive side. The Georgia front seven has five starters projected to be picked as early as the top 50.
The following 10 Georgia players could be off the board in the first 100 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft, according to The 33rd Team’s Big Board.
Nakobe Dean, Linebacker
One of the most intelligent players in this draft, Dean was the signal caller for Georgia’s defense and one of four permanent team captains as voted on by his teammates. He made an appearance in every possible game while he was at Georgia, and led the Bulldogs in TFLs during the 2021 season.
He can be an immediate contributor against the run, in coverage, and as a blitzer. The 2021 Butkus Award winner played multiple roles as a member of a rotation heavy linebacker group, but projects best as a WILL in a 4-3 scheme where he can be kept clean and pursue to the football.
Team Fits: Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots
Devonte Wyatt, Defensive Line
Wyatt is an explosive player with an outstanding motor who can play all across a defensive front. One of the older prospects in this draft at 24 years old, he has a lower developmental ceiling than other prospects, but he makes up for it with a high floor and good production as the leading tackler among Georgia’s defensive line for each of the past three seasons.
He fits best in a 4-3 defense as a 3-technique, but can play as an undersized DE in a 3-4 defense as well. Teams that desire a versatile and polished defensive lineman will be eager to pick him up and add him to their front seven.
Team Fits: Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals
Jordan Davis, Defensive Line
One of the more popular prospects of this draft cycle, Davis is a mammoth of a human being with remarkable athleticism. A decorated interior lineman who won the Bednarik Award and the Outland Trophy in 2021, he was the heart and soul of the Georgia team. He is a traditional 2-gapping nose tackle, and as a result he has a limited ability to contribute on third down consistently.
As one would expect, he wins with size and length and flashes elite ability to make plays and, with increased consistency in his effort and motor, can be a very good starter at the next level. Teams that run a 3-4 and need two-gapping lineman will jump at the opportunity to take Davis and solidify the middle of their front seven.
Team Fits: Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals
Trayvon Walker, EDGE
Walker has been the recipient of a great deal of hype leading into this week as someone who could go as high as the first overall pick. Due to the depth Georgia has had defensively over the past few years, he was not a starter until this season.
He is an explosive player who can be used in a variety of ways against both the run and the pass due to his outstanding athleticism, but he will need some time to develop and grow as he is still raw as a defender. Walker is a scheme versatile player who can succeed in both a 3-4 and a 4-3 system if given the necessary time, so teams that value high ceiling players will find him worthy of a top pick.
Team Fits: Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, New York Jets
Quay Walker, Linebacker
The other Walker was a four-year contributor on defense and special teams for Georgia. A fluid mover that is consistent in every aspect of his game, Walker filled multiple roles on the Georgia defense due to the nature of the rotating linebacker group. Is one of the better tacklers in this year’s linebacker crop, and finished the 2021 season as Georgia’s third leading tackler.
Like Nakobe Dean, he fits best in a 4-3 defense where he can play in space and flow to the football. Teams that run a 4-3 looking for smart and consistent linebacker play will be very happy to add Walker to their defense.
Team Fits: New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions
George Pickens, Wide Receiver
Pickens made a late season return after tearing his ACL in spring practice. He uses his length and speed to create separation and can be a good vertical threat at the next level. Flashes high end ball skills but has some bad drops to his credit.
He will need to add some functional muscle mass to be able to combat more physical corners at the next level, and has the frame to do it. Teams that lack a vertical threat or want to add some length to their receiver room will be eager to insert him into the mix.
Team Fits: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers
Lewis Cine, Safety
Cine was Georgia’s leading tackler during their championship campaign. He has a prototypical free safety skill set with the measurables to match. He will need to polish up some of the finer points of his game such as his ability to convert interception opportunities and securing open field tackles, but on the whole he is ready for the NFL. Teams that are weak in the back half and need a rangy safety to cover ground will think of him as a welcome addition to their secondary.
Team Fits: Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Commanders, Dallas Cowboys
Jamaree Salyer, Offensive Guard
Salyer played multiple positions across Georgia’s offensive line during his career, and made starts at both tackle spots as well as left guard. He has a strong punch with a good anchor to go with his stout build, which allows him to lock on to opponents and generate push.
He lacks the ideal size and length for a tackle at the next level, and projects better as a guard on the interior. Teams that need to improve the quality of play on the interior of their line will view him as an upgrade with the potential to play tackle in an emergency situation.
Team Fits: Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots
Channing Tindall, Linebacker
Tindall was the odd man out in the Georgia linebacker room’s three-man rotation. He was never a true starter, but his snap counts continually increased as the 2021 season went on. He was also a core special teams player throughout his career, and had good production rates (tied for third on the team in total tackles in 2021 despite not being a starter).
Tindall is an explosive athlete with good testing numbers and measurables, but will need more game experience to fine tune aspects of his game like coverage and block shedding. Teams lacking depth at linebacker that see through the snap counts and are willing to give him time to develop will leap at the opportunity to grab him.
Team Fits: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos
Derion Kendrick, Cornerback
Kendrick might be a surprise on this list, but before he put up poor testing numbers at his Pro Day it appeared he had the makings of a top 100 player. His film shows a different player than his workout would indicate, one with speed and fluidity when in coverage.
Teams that value film grades more than testing numbers might still think of him as a top 100 guy, but it’s also possible that they believe he will be available later on and allow him to fall into the later rounds.