BIRDLAND – The NFL draft started off with Cam Newton’s name being pulled off Carolina’s draft board.
He was just the first of 20 players with ties to Georgia selected in the NFL draft.
At least one player with Georgia ties was selected in six of the seven rounds.
When NFL teams are able to sign undrafted college free agents several more players will likely be signed.
Here’s a list of the draft picks and some of the players who are still available:
(1) Cam Newton, QB, Auburn, Westlake High — Carolina
(4) A.J. Green, WR, Georgia – Cincinnati
(25) James Carpenter, OT, Alabama, Hephzibah High – Seattle
(31) Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State, Peachtree Ridge — Pittsburgh
No local players selected
(68) Kelvin Sheppard, LB, LSU, Stephenson High – Buffalo Bills
(70) Justin Houston, LB, Georgia – Kansas City Chiefs
(76) Will Rackley, OG, Lehigh, Riverdale – Jacksonville Jaguars
(86) Allen Bailey, DE, Miami, McIntosh County Academy — Kansas City Chiefs
(91) Akeem Dent, LB, Georgia, Douglass High – Atlanta Falcons
(100) Da’Norris Searcy, DB, North Carolina, Towers High – Buffalo Bills
(101) Clint Boling, OL, Georgia, Chattahoochee High – Cincinnati Bengals
(107) Kris Durham, WR, Georgia, Calhoun – Seattle Seahawks
(136) Buster Skrine, DB, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Etowah High – Cleveland Browns
(152) T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina, Pope High – Houston Texans
(156) Mark Legree, FS, Appalachian State, Pacelli Catholic High — Seattle Seahawks
(176) Dwayne Harris, WR, East Carolina, Tucker High — Dallas Cowboys
(209) Johnny Culbreath, OL, South Carolina State, Monroe Area High — Detroit Lions
(211) Bruce Miller, LB, Central Florida, Woodstock High – San Francisco
(217) Maurice Hurt, OL, Florida, Baldwin High — Washington Redskins
(220) Shaun Chappas, FB, Georgia – Dallas Cowboys
(225) Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech – Baltimore Ravens
POTENTIAL UN-DRAFTED FREE AGENTS WITH LOCAL TIES
DARVIN ADAMS, WR, AUBURN (Harrison): He led Auburn with 52 catches last season. He had 963 yards and seven touchdowns. Draft grade: He’s the 175th ranked player and is a projected fifth rounder.
LADI AJIOBYE, DT, SOUTH CAROLINA (Banneker): Played in all 14 games and had 41 tackles. He had five tackles for loss and two sacks.
MARIO FANNIN, RB, AUBURN (Lovejoy): He was a double-threat quarterback in high school. He was named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100. Had a solid career at Auburn.
CHAS HENRY, PK, FLORIDA (East Paulding): He made 7 of 11 field goals last season with a long of 47 yards.
RAY DOMINGUEZ, OT, ARKANSAS (Bainbridge High): He selected the Razorbacks over Florida State, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Alabama-Birmingham, Central Florida and Marshall.
RICARDO LOCKETTE, WR, FORT VALLEY STATE (Monroe): Last season he had 23 receptions for 262 yards. He averaged 11.4 yards per catch and caught one touchdown pass. NFL teams are intrigued by his sprinter’s speed and size (6-3, 200).
VANCE CUFF, DB, (Colquitt County): He has elite speed and plays fast. He’s run the 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds.
JOSH DAVIS, OT: At 6-6, 310, he has NFL size. He graduated in December with a degree in Speech Communication.
DeMARCUS DOBBS, DE, (Savannah Calvary Baptist): Appeared in 13 games making 10 starts, recording 28 tackles and 15 quarterback pressures. Graduated in December with a degree in Consumer Economics.
MARIO BUTLER, CB: Was a two-year starter. Has good striking ability, but there are questions about his range and coverage ability.
JERRARD TARRANT, S: Declared for the draft after his redshirt junior season. He will have to talk with teams about his sexual assault case even though the charges were eventually dropped. Draft grade: He’s the 121st rated player overall and is a projected third or fourth round pick.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog