ATHENS, Ga. — After the Georgia Bulldogs won the national championship last year, the NFL stood up and really took notice - with a record 15 players from the Dawgs' ranks getting taken in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Now that UGA has secured back-to-back national titles, what can we expect in terms of Bulldogs who might make the same leap?
It probably won't be a contingent quite like last year's, but it should be impressive nonetheless. Here's a look:
Georgia Bulldogs going to the NFL Draft
- It's easiest to start with DT Jalen Carter. He's definitely going to the Draft, and going quite high - possibly following on Travon Walker last year as a Dawg at No. 1. Mel Kiper's Big Board has him as the No. 1 talent, though some other mock drafters out there prefer Alabama's Will Anderson or Bryce Young with the top pick. Either way, he'll be the first Bulldog off the board.
- After Carter, you can count on OT Broderick Jones, CB Kelee Ringo or LB Nolan Smith going off the board. Based on the particular rankings, it seems any one of these players could go in the first round.
- Then, you've got a range of players who will likely get taken in the draft, though where exactly-- is up in the air. Those include RB Kenny McIntosh, TE Darnell Washington, C Sedrick Van Pran (update: Van Pran has announced he is staying another season with UGA), S Tykee Smith and S Chris Smith.
- Then, of course, the elephant in the room. The most controversial player in Georgia's draft mix will be QB Stetson Bennett. While it was once thought he didn't profile as an NFL player, back-to-back championships speak loudly. Kirby Smart said after the title game on Monday night that he thought Bennett "should get many opportunities to keep playing." It's possible Bennett doesn't get taken and winds up with a team as an undrafted free agent, or he could go toward the end of the draft - or maybe also higher than some expect. You never really know, especially with quarterbacks, because all it takes is one team to see something there. Either way, it would be surprising now if he didn't find his way into an NFL situation with one team or another.
- Update: TE Darnell Washington declared on Jan. 12 for the Draft. Offensive lineman Warren McClendon Jr. declared on Jan. 14 for the Draft. Offensive lineman Warren Ericson also declared on Jan. 14 for the Draft.
Georgia Bulldogs: List of players who could get taken in the NFL Draft
- QB Stetson Bennett
- DT Jalen Carter
- OT Broderick Jones
- RB Kenny McIntosh
- CB Kelee Ringo
- LB Nolan Smith
- S Chris Smith
- S Tykee Smith
- TE Darnell Washington
- Warren McClendon Jr.
- Warren Ericson