Kiper on UGA’s Charles, Tech’s Hill for 2012 NFL draft

Georgia tight end Orson Charles has an Aaron Murray pass slip though his hands. Brant

Georgia tight end Orson Charles has an Aaron Murray pass slip though his hands. Brant

A total of 65 players, include key players from Georgia and Georgia Tech, have been granted special eligibility for the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26-28 in New York, the league announced on Thursday.

It is the most underclassmen declared eligible for the draft over the last 10 years. That is good news for the Falcons, who do not have a first round pick, because the large number of underclassmen should

Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill scoring an 82-yard touchdown. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill scoring an 82-yard touchdown. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

 strengthen the talent pool and could push a good player down to them.  They traded away their first round pick last season in the Julio Jones trade with the Cleveland Browns.

The players, including Georgia tight end Orson Charles and Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill, submitted a written application in which they renounced their remaining college football eligibility. The deadline for receiving applications was January 15.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has Charles rated as the second-best underclassmen tight end behind Clemson’s Dwayne Allen.

Here’s what Kiper has on Charles in his 2012 Draft Preview:

“Not much of a blocker, when you bring the type of dimension that he does to the passing game, it more than compensates for any deficiencies in that area. A constant threat to stretch the deep middle, he has an impressive 14.7 yards per catch average for his career. His 44 receptions in 2011 are just five fewer than he had the previous two years. His five receiving touchdowns are equal to the number he had the previous two years.”

Kiper has Hill rated as the eighth best underclassmen wide receiver:

Here’s what Kiper has on Hill:

“With the Rambling Wreck offense being one that is very run oriented, wide receivers are never going to put up lofty reception totals. Therein you have the reason why Hill led the team with only 26 catches. What has stood out about him this season is his 30.2 yards per catch average. What is lacking from the equation at the present time in polish.”

The first round of the NFL draft will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m.. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, April 28 at noon.

 The players granted special eligibility for the NFL Draft the past 10 years: 

Year Players Granted Special Eligibility   Year Players Granted Special Eligibility





















The players granted special eligibility for the 2012 NFL Draft:


Player  Pos.  College
Alexander, Alvester RB Wyoming
Allen, Dwayne TE Clemson
Baker, Edwin RB Michigan State
Ball, Mike RB Nevada
Berryhill, Jamison RB Texas
Blackmon, Justin WR Oklahoma State
Brockers, Michael DT Louisiana State
Brown, Bryce RB Kansas State
Burfict, Vontaze LB Arizona State
Charles, Orson TE Georgia
Claiborne, Morris DB Louisiana State
Cox, Fletcher DT Mississippi State
DeCastro, David G Stanford
Eure, Tiree TE Minnesota
Forston, Marcus DT Miami
Gilmore, Stephon DB South Carolina
Givens, Chris WR Wake Forest
Graham, Dorian WR Syracuse
Griffin, Robert QB Baylor
Hampton, Jewel RB Southern Illinois
Harris, Cliff DB Oregon
Hightower, Dont’a LB Alabama
Hill, Stephen WR Georgia Tech
 Hillman, Ronnie  RB  San Diego State
Holloway, Max DE Boston College
Hosley, Jayron DB Virginia Tech
Jackson, Janzen DB McNeese State
James, LaMichael RB Oregon
Jeffery, Alshon WR South Carolina
Johnson, Aldarius WR Miami
Johnson, Damaris WR Tulsa
Jones, Chandler DE Syracuse
Kalil, Matt T Southern California
Kirkpatrick, Dre DB Alabama
Konz, Peter C Wisconsin
Kuechly, Luke LB Boston College
Lewis, Ronnell DE Oklahoma
Luck, Andrew QB Stanford
Manning, Terrell LB North Carolina State
Martin, Jonathan T Stanford
Massie, Bobby T Mississippi
Mercilus, Whitney DE Illinois
Miller, Lamar RB Miami
Osweiler, Brock QB Arizona State
Page, Eric WR Toledo
Paige-Moss, Donte DE North Carolina
Perry, Nick DE Southern California
Pierce, Bernard RB Temple
Plue, Ken G Purdue
Poe, Dontari DT Memphis
Randle, Rueben WR Louisiana State
Reiff, Riley T Iowa
Richardson, Trent RB Alabama
Robinson, Josh DB Central Florida
Sanu, Mohamed WR Rutgers
Scott, Darrell RB South Florida
Streeter, Tommy WR Miami
Thomas, Darron QB Oregon
Thomas, Johnny DB Oklahoma State
Thomas, Phillip DB Syracuse
Trotter, Barrett QB Auburn
Vernon, Olivier DE Miami
Washington, Brandon T Miami
Wilson, David RB Virginia Tech
Worthy, Jerel DT Michigan State

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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44 comments Add your comment


January 19th, 2012
2:18 pm


January 19th, 2012
2:30 pm

Who cares!!!

D man

January 19th, 2012
2:32 pm

Charles is not that good. Falcons need o-lineman…


January 19th, 2012
2:37 pm

Good point about talent falling into 2nd round where Falcons are.

Yes D man, Falcons need olinemen, and Arthur already has his wallet out for FA. Did you see the video of the season-wrap press conference? He pretty much interrupted TD’s defense of oline stats and lowered the boom.

Now the oline coach is gone, and TD knows he has to fix the oline for sure.


January 19th, 2012
2:41 pm

Great article D-Led. Firm believer in building thru the draft, so unless Thomas makes somes trades, we are going to really need some gems and the make an impact with some undrafted free agents. We definitely need a LT, RG, FS, SOLB, DT, RB and TE to groom to replace Tony G., and if I not mistakened, we only have 5 picks to make it work. This is were the coaches earn their keep.

Wondering, I just thought is was cool to be first since I never had that opportunity. Childish, maybe, fun…..yes


January 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

That’s 2 rounds of players. Wow…..


January 19th, 2012
2:59 pm

The last person i would ask is Kiper, someone asked a scout once about Kiper’s picks and he laughed and said who is Mel Kiper! I have noticed his lower picks are really off compared to where teams pick these players anyone can pick the first or second round just by reading what the scouts say. Kiper’s a joke!

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January 19th, 2012
3:36 pm

Mayock is better at this, but I know that just hurts Kiper at his core.


January 19th, 2012
3:37 pm

Also, Dwayne Allen’s hands are freaking brutally turrible.

invictus mon

January 19th, 2012
4:00 pm

Wishing the best for these guys. I’d say his blocking deficiencies come from being a part of an o-line that couldn’t block. Bet he’d have looked a lot better if the other guys on the line were blocking with him. Just trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. That said, Dwayne Allen is going to be the next Gonzales sp? (falcons). Gona miss em though…the team is poised to do something special next year.


January 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

I think it’s “easier to improve” as a blocker than it is to develop the pass catching and route running ability that Charles has…he’ll most likely go in the late 2nd or 3rd round. Would be surprised to see him “on the board” when round 4 hits…

George Stein

January 19th, 2012
5:12 pm

Bryce Brown declared? Sheesh. Wonder what Boy Wonder is thinking about that?


January 19th, 2012
5:19 pm

Please BIG Nasties on LOS both sides! But need OL most!!!!


January 19th, 2012
5:57 pm

George–Agree on Bryce Brown. Never heard much about him after the recruitment and signing by the boy wonder at UT. Also, don’t know what Stephen Hill was thinking–I believe he got some awful advice or there is something I’m not aware of.


January 19th, 2012
6:51 pm

Saints got Spagnuolo. We’re screwed.


January 19th, 2012
7:09 pm

Lot of acc players on there.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 19th, 2012
8:00 pm

PMC — Mayock is good. But Kiper has better hair.


January 19th, 2012
8:29 pm

Yeah Peyton, just give the Saints the superbowl and the division as long as he is there. He won it every year before now right? He is just the best DC in the NFL right? All other teams should just bow down and not play the season right? You discredit our new DC already? He is damn good and for all you know better. I hate to tell you this, but if the Falcons or ANY other team put a pass rush on Brees, he throws INT’s like they are going out of style. If the Falcons fix that, they will beat the Saints EVERY year and then its Carolina you have to worry about, not the Saints so much. Bottomline is this for the Falcons:fix the OL and DL and the Falcons are as good as anyone. You cant do nothing without the trenches. I mean people want to scrutinize every little thing, but that is the big picture. The offense cant be effective and neither can the passing defense with an adequate OL that blocks and a pass rush. Give ANY QB in the NFL as much time as the Falcons give them and they will beat you every time. Dont give ANY QB in the NFL but the same amount of time the Falcons give Ryan, and they will not be able to do a whole lot. Make the other team QB run for his life and get rid of the ball in a hurry and be anxious and give your QB time and you can beat anyone in the league if he has some decent receivers.

still a dawg fan

January 19th, 2012
8:59 pm

OC is a TWEENER to slow to play WR & not big enough to play TE = late round pick


January 19th, 2012
9:39 pm

columbus- thats why brees threw for over 400 yds and scored 30 + pts with 5 turnovers and matyy ice got shut out. what a waste of cyber space your post is!


January 19th, 2012
10:10 pm


January 19th, 2012
10:40 pm

I agree that Mayock is a better talent evaluator


January 19th, 2012
10:55 pm

how bout dem tigersaints hatrack


January 19th, 2012
11:03 pm

Mel Kiper’s predictions are pretty accurate. If I was a student athlete contemplating taking that step to the next level, I would probably contact him evaluation. He’s on the money more times than none. He has a type of providence about him when he’s evaluating players. I remember him being big on Roddy White well before the Falcons drafted him! I agree w/ him that Charles is not ready! Alot of Georgia players go into the “big league” unpolished and suffer for it! I thought Knowshon should have waited but on the flipside it was obvious the year he left that he and Stafford were campaigning! Charles was no where to be found against Michigan State! I believe Stephen Hill will be alright on the right team! AJ Green is the only player in recent years that was ready for the pros as an underclassmen! I believe Charles will question his decision in years to come…


January 19th, 2012
11:51 pm

Don’t need a TE… about 3 or 4 on the team, and 2 on the PS…

What we need is O-linemen, especially LT. Then, someone who can
actually rush the passer on a consistent basis.

Also, a safety and a corner back would be nice.

But, good luck in the NFL to these young men!!!


January 20th, 2012
10:01 am

Who picked the picture of OC letting a pass go through his hands when the article references his pass catching ability as his strength? Sounds like a GT alum might be involved!

Does anyone remember Shannon Sharpe? One of the best pass-catching tight ends the NFL has ever seen. OC is very similar to SS and will be a valuable asset to the team that drafts him.


January 20th, 2012
11:15 am

Get that RB from VATech and get rid of Turner!


January 20th, 2012
11:18 am

The better teams are really utilizing their TE in the vertical passing game. See Pats, Saints, GreenBay and 49′ers. Love Gonzalez sure hands but he is simply not as athletic as the ones on these competitors.


January 20th, 2012
3:15 pm

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Kiper get anything right on draft day…


January 20th, 2012
3:53 pm

Charles had more holding calls against him than anybody that I can remember. He is a good receiver, but you can’t count on him to block. UGA should be a lot better off in that year and the O-line sure could use the extra help.


January 20th, 2012
8:36 pm

I do not trust Mel Kiper. He is the sameone who said Cam Newton can’t play quaterback in the NFL.

savannah dawg

January 21st, 2012
10:54 am

It was Mayock that sais Cam Newton would be a bust.


January 21st, 2012
6:21 pm

If I was making the first pick the Falcons get this time I would hope to take Ben Jones from UGA. First class guy and first class talent. He could be the needed Falcons Center of the future.

Only if the '98 Falcons stayed foucused

January 21st, 2012
7:13 pm

OC is a good pick, and I agree with the everyone else’s comments that we need to draft O-linemen, but right now we need experience offensive linemen to block for Ryan right now, so I think the Falcons are going to make that a priority in free agency.


January 21st, 2012
9:55 pm

I don’t think we will sign Carl Nicks. The Saints will sign Brees before FA so he won’t be out there. From what I read, Brees has said he doesn’t want the franchise tag. By signing Brees, the Saints can pick between Nicks and Colston on who should get the franchise tag. Know how the Saints will pick…..Nicks. After the Saints put the tag on Nicks, they’ll still have enough cap space to sign Colston. Plus, with Spags on board half of the Saints defense won’t be there next year giving them enough cap room to sign all three. And I hear the Saints are trying to sign Mario Williams away from the Texans. So it looks like we won’t get Carl Nicks from the Saints and the Saints will get alot tougher to beat in the next few years.


January 21st, 2012
11:34 pm

Hey TD drafting is so simple big name players from big name schools!! There is the AFC NFC and then the SEC, remember it.


January 22nd, 2012
3:43 pm

TD, they say that Green Bay Packers legendary coach Vince Lombardi said , “statistics are for LOSERS!” :)

“Just win baby!” – Oakland Raiders legendary coach, Al Davis :)


January 22nd, 2012
3:45 pm

Did you like that mountain_jim? :)


January 22nd, 2012
5:46 pm

We had a pretty decent OL. TD has made a few draft picks, let Dahl get away and now we are in dire need of replaceing what we have. How can we be sure he can pick the right people? He didn’t before. Now I’m hearing that Grimes might get away. We suffered thru his training period until he made a good CB and now some other team will reap the benefits. We have drafted so many busts and injured players plus not the greatest FA. Maybe we need to draft a new GM.
I agree with someone earlier the OL first then the DL. While getting the DL, why not change to a 3-4?

steven A.

January 22nd, 2012
6:28 pm

Maybe they will draft another QB to groom. Matt Ryan-Joe Flacco Draft Class may prove to be the all-time QB Underachieving group eve. Major CHOKE JOBS thus far.

steven A.

January 22nd, 2012
6:31 pm

Ed Reed and Ray Lewis must be sick right now. Their season choked away by Flacco-Cundiff-and Torrey Smith. Flacco looked a lot like Matty Ice on that final play.

Tom G

January 23rd, 2012
8:25 am

Jimmy Crack

January 24th, 2012
10:32 am