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Georgia’s playoff dominance could extend into the 2022 NFL Draft

In January, Georgia made history by winning everything for the first time in 42 years.

But the Bulldogs’ national championship-winning legacy didn’t end there. It should be continued this weekend in Las Vegas at the 2022 NFL Draft.

Kirby Smart’s program was a program to watch Thursday night, with seven potential first-round picks that, if they all came in the first 32 picks, would set a new bar for a college football program.

Alabama (2021) and Miami (2004) held the current record of six first-round picks. The Bulldogs’ dynamic, high-ranking defense, which carried them to the crown while allowing a microscopic 10.2 points per game, led the charge.

“Where do I start with this group, man. That was the longest single group I’ve had to do in terms of tape viewing,” said Todd McShay, draft analyst at ESPN. “It’s just that this group is loaded.”

It was expected that there would be three top-20 picks in edge rusher Travon Walker and defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt. Linebackers Nakobe Dean – the Butkus Award winner for the nation’s top linebacker – and Quay Walker, along with safety Lewis Cine, were also considered potential first-rounders. Such was 6-foot-3-wide receiver George Pickens, who returned from a torn right cruciate ligament late last year.

Georgia's Travon Walker could be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
Georgia’s Travon Walker could be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
AP
Jordan Davis (99) is one of two Georgia defenders likely to finish in the top 20 of the draft.
Jordan Davis (99) is one of two Georgia defenders likely to finish in the top 20 of the draft.
USA TODAY sports

“Personally, I definitely have to say that we will be remembered as the best defense in college football history,” Walker, who became the first Bulldog defensive end in the first round since David Pollack in 2005, told USA Today Sport . “From a college perspective, they’re probably going to compare us to the Chicago Bears’ defense of yesteryear.”

The fun in Athens, Georgia doesn’t end on Thursday night either. Georgia is expected to add 14 players to the 2022 draft. That would tie LSU and Ohio State, who picked so many players in 2020 and 2004, respectively. Georgia has never had more than three first-round picks, which happened in 2018 when Roquan Smith (8), Isaiah Wynn (23) and Sony Michel (31) were selected.

“I think it’s very unique to have such a collection of talent,” Smart told reporters ahead of the draft. “It doesn’t happen every year — it’s not every year that 14 people are in the NFL Combine. It’s difficult and I’m proud of this group.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/28/georgias-domination-didnt-end-in-playoff-bulldogs-will-go-early-in-draft/ Georgia’s playoff dominance could extend into the 2022 NFL Draft

JOE HERNANDEZ

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