Georgia Football: NFL Draft Projections for Every Former Bulldog
The NFL draft is this week, and this year will be different for Georgia Bulldog fans.
Normally, the Bulldogs would have at least five players drafted each year. In fact, last year there were eight players from UGA drafted, including two in the first round.
But in 2014, it could (and more than likely will) be very out of the ordinary.
Part of the reason is there are not a lot of players graduating this season, but according to Bleacher Report NFL writer Matt Miller, there will be only two Georgia players taken in the draft. And if anyone has been following draft coverage for the past three months, the two Bulldogs Miller has being drafted should come as a surprise to nobody.
Here are draft projections for the former Bulldogs in the 2014 NFL draft.
QB Aaron Murray
Projection: Mid-third round
The quarterback position will be interesting to watch in the NFL draft because there is no telling how many will be taken in the first round.
But if there is a run on quarterbacks in the first day, expect Aaron Murray to be selected in the third round.
Murray was a winner at Georgia and was very productive, and he will go down as one of the great quarterbacks in SEC history in terms of passing stats.
He is on the short side, and his ACL injury is a concern for most scouts. But Murray has proven that he’s ready for the challenge ahead of him, and he will be a very good backup for a team that needs some insurance.
TE Arthur Lynch
Projection: Late third, early fourth round
Arthur Lynch has a chance to get picked in the third round, but more than likely he will fall into the early fourth-round area.
Regardless, whoever gets Lynch will get a tight end that is a great blocker and a solid receiver.
Miller has Lynch going to the Packers, which makes sense because Jermichael Finley’s future is uncertain. But there are other teams that will be looking at Lynch in the second and third day of the draft, like the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
The only thing certain is Lynch will be drafted by the fourth round, and he will have chance to be the starter no matter where he goes.
After Murray and Lynch, there are not any other players for Georgia who are projected to be drafted.
But when it comes to the other offensive players that could be on an NFL roster after the draft is over, Dallas Lee, Kenarious Gates and Chris Burnette are the likely candidates.
And of those three, Burnette may be the one who gets drafted in the sixth or seventh round. He is a great run-blocker that has great intangibles, but he does not look like the prototypical NFL guard when it comes to size.
The same goes for Lee. He plays with toughness, but he’s not the fastest of guards and has a smaller frame.
The Bulldogs only lost one starter on defense from last year, and that’s Garrison Smith.
The defensive lineman had a productive career at Georgia, but he’s not being projected to be drafted because he’s not as explosive as he needs to be.
He will get a chance to be on an NFL team because coaches will look at the tape and see that he can get the job done.
Other defensive players for Georgia who are looking to be drafted are linebackers Chase Vasser and T.J. Stripling. Both are hardworking guys who will do anything that is asked of them, but both players never really got a chance to really prove themselves in Athens.
What it comes down to is this: Murray and Lynch will be drafted, and the rest of the prospects will try to get on teams as rookie free agents.
It’s a strange year for the Bulldogs when it comes to the draft because there are normally more players who get drafted and have successful careers. But the Bulldogs did not lose too many starters from last season, so this is not really a surprise.
As for who will have the better NFL career? Lynch will have the edge because he will have a chance to contribute right away. But Murray will get a shot to make a name for himself, and based on what he’s done in high school and in college, it will be hard for him to fail in the NFL.
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