Fan talk: Does the NFL draft really help Georgia’s football program?

A reader wants to know how Jarvis Jones going in the first round of the NFL draft helps the Dawgs. (University of Georgia)

A reader wants to know how Jarvis Jones going in the first round of the NFL draft helps the Dawgs. (University of Georgia)

Let’s get straight to some Junkyard Mail. …

Brownie Lawson writes: I know a lot of the Bulldog Nation has been watching the NFL draft, but I can’t really work up much enthusiasm for it. I’m happy if former Dawgs get drafted, but it’s not really that important to me, especially those players that left school early. But I seem to be in the minority. Bill, tell me why I should care that Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree went in the first round.

I understand where you’re coming from, Brownie, especially when it comes to those who didn’t play out their eligibility in Athens, but as with so many other things in the college game these days, it all comes back to recruiting. Kids want to play in a program that they see as a pipeline to the pros. That’s what hurts triple-option programs like Georgia Tech, which play a brand of the game foreign to what’s seen on Sundays. As Mr.SEC noted this week, “No school has matched Georgia’s level of consistency with regards to talent production. Before Mark Richt, since Mark Richt, 10 years, five years, last year … the Dawgs are always on NFL teams’ radars. It’s no wonder UGA has finished either first or second in the SEC East in nine of Richt’s 12 seasons in Athens.” So, Georgia putting more players into the NFL than a lot of comparable schools helps elevate the program and draw the attention of fresh recruits, as Richt noted this week. “I haven’t recruited many guys that didn’t think or weren’t at least dreaming about the NFL or hoping to be or expecting to be [drafted],” Richt said. “I think it’s exciting for high school kids observing Georgia and trying to decide, ‘Hey, would this be a good place for me.’ It’s a big a part of the recruiting process and what we’re trying to get accomplished. … It’s an important time for our current players and really for the future of our program, too.”

Jim P. writes: You mentioned our D-line size in a recent article. I wondered about that for a while, knowing that John Jenkins would be gone. Seems that one of the necessary requirements for a 3-4 defense is size in the line spots (particularly the middle). If a team can’t recruit that every year, their base scheme is in trouble. Alabama seems to be only one of few that recruits consistently to use the 3-4 well. Could UGA be in need of switching to a 4-3 temporarily? I understand Grantham does mix it up.

Should Georgia play less 3-4 defense after losing John Jenkins? (University of Georgia)

Should Georgia play less 3-4 defense after losing John Jenkins? (University of Georgia)

Yes, Georgia will be losing a big body in the middle in future New Orleans Saint John Jenkins. But the hope is that while Jenkins’ replacements might not be quite as big, they will make up for it in being a bit more athletic. You’re right, though, that Todd Grantham does indeed mix it up and is likely to do even more of that in the first couple of games of the season. That’s why there was all the emphasis this spring on getting Josh Harvey-Clemons comfortable playing the hybrid saftey-linebacker “star” position in the nickel package, in which Georgia essentially plays with an extra, fifth defensive back. Against a spread offense like Clemson’s, the Dawgs figure to be in their nickel package most of the time. Same with South Carolina’s three-receiver sets and mobile quarterback. Georgia actually plays its base 3-4 defense a lot less than most folks realize. Mike Thornton told the Macon Telegraph he estimated the team is in its nickel defense 70 percent of the time.

Is it already time to be preparing to defend Tajh Boyd? (Associated Press)

Is it already time to be preparing to defend Tajh Boyd? (Associated Press)

Silverdawg writes: Bill, like so many other Georgia Bulldogs fans, I’m worried about opening the season against the likes of Tajh Boyd and Clemson and South Carolina with Connor Shaw and Jadeveon Clowney, and wonder whether the coaching staff is doing anything to jumpstart preparations for those games. I didn’t hear much talk about that during spring practice, and I wonder if maybe they were working some on getting ready for the Tigers and Gamecocks in those closed scrimmages and just didn’t tell anyone?

Richt told the AJC’s Chip Towers that spring was pretty much devoted to working on fundamentals and determining a depth chart for the Dogs. “We didn’t sit there and say, ‘This is what Clemson does and let’s try to simulate that with the scout team’ or anything like that. We didn’t get into that.” But the coach said the staff will spend the summer getting ready for dealing with, say, South Carolina’s Clowney. “We spend a lot of time on our first two opponents so it will be a natural this year. It was about game six or so last year and we might not have sat there in the summer thinking about it as much as we’ll think about it this summer. Yeah, you’ve just got to figure out a way to get the ball off or a way to run the ball successfully and neutralize him in some way, shape or form.”

Chris Pugh writes: Bill let’s say I have just basic cable from the city I live in. Will the SEC Network take away from me watching my UGA games that are usually on ESPN or ESPN 2?

sec-pinwheel-logojpg-f806e20b1171f261No, Chris. The games that are usually on CBS, ESPN and ESPN2 will still be on those channels. What will change is the games that in the past have been shown elsewhere. SportsBusiness Daily reported recently that the conference has reacquired the third-tier TV rights from its schools (the one game per season that usually wound up on CSS or pay-per-view) and is in the process of regaining its syndicated rights from Comcast and Fox Sports Net. The Fox deal ends after the 2014-2015 season, so after that all the games that used to be farmed out to those channels (the noon games, in particular) will wind up on the SEC Network. The satellite services and most cable systems are expected to pick up the SEC Network, especially in this part of the country, but if your basic cable subscription doesn’t include such sports channels, you may well have to upgrade in order to see all the Dogs’ games.

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? If so, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

42 comments Add your comment

Dawgs Run This State

April 27th, 2013
9:27 am

Great article Bill and totally valid point that Paul “Turkey Neck” Johnson’s mickey mouse option offense doesn’t produce NFL-quality player, resulting in the 2 or 3 star recruits that the Wreck manage to sign.

Dawgs Run This State!

Bulldawg35

April 27th, 2013
9:49 am

Yeah it does help us get great recruits…but is hasn’t help us win a championship since 2005. So I hope itwill start soon….but I blame most of this on keeping willie past the 2006 season…..by goly we got to beat those sorry chickens…… Because I’m sick and tired of hearing their sorry fans running their mouths on the SECRANT….the chickens are the most delusional fans in the SeE

I-DOG

April 27th, 2013
10:14 am

The first 3 dawgs picked in the draft slid badly from where they were projected to go at seasons end. Jarvis was the most productive defensive player in college football for the last two years. He probably shouldn’t have run the 40 outside in bad conditions at UGA’s pro day. Wonder how much that hurt him? When will the next guy with 27 sacks in two years in the SEC go that low?

Ogletree slides to 30. I saw one pundit write that it was a terrible pick even at #30! He cited character issues and a lack of football instincts and football inteligence despite tremendous athleticism as the reason he thought Ogletree was a reach at #30. Wow.

Jenkins slides all the way to the third round. Prior to the draft, he was talked about as a mid 2nd round and maybe even a late first rounder. I was shocked that ESPN’s analysts made little mention of him sliding and when the Saints picked him, they characterized him as a big guy who has a “little” quickness for a 350 plus pounder. BEFORE the draft he was being talked about as EXTREMELY athletic for a man his size.

Williams selected in 3rd round which was probably a little higher than he was projected, so that was good to see.

Anyone else concerned about these three players falling so badly in the draft?

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 27th, 2013
12:42 pm

Yea its a good thing all the Tech fans think coach Turkey Neck is such a great coach cause as long as he continues to run that 1920’s era offense no large amount 3,4, and 5 recruits will want to play for Tech

They will just end up at nearby programs like UGA, Bama, Clemson, SC, TENN AUB, etc

Keep up the delusional support Tech fans cause your program has become a laughable joke that really just needs to drop to Div II and allow Georgia St or Southern to take your spot

;)

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 27th, 2013
12:43 pm

3,4 and 5 star

GTBob

April 27th, 2013
1:39 pm

GT isn’t going to get very much pro talent no matter what system they run or who the coach is. Chan proved that. That is why CPJ was brought in in the first place. To try and neutralize the recruiting issues we have.

GTBob

April 27th, 2013
1:41 pm

Also Bill, from what I have been hearing about the SEC network, there is a good possibility that some of the ESPN/ESPN2 games will be moved to the new network. The reason for this is because ESPN is trying to build leverage with providers to gain coverage. Having just after thought tier three games isn’t going to help ESPN with getting the SEC Network good coverage.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 27th, 2013
1:51 pm

Bob

That’s just not true you have too many Tech fans/ alumni that really could care less about the sports program

Atlanta and the state of Georgia is a top 5 recruiting hub; Tech could literally do just like Miami did 30 yrs ago with the right coach and get the best players to come there

And please don’t say it couldn’t happen; Miami 30 yrs ago was in way worse shape than Tech is now; they were on the verge of shutting the football program down

I guess the not wanting championships is a state of Georgia thing among both fan bases cause the majority of UGA fans believe 10 wins with beating the joke by the coke every year is a successful season

Tech fans believe just beating UGA is a successful season

AltamahaDawg

April 27th, 2013
2:19 pm

I try to notice, and count the occation that we lined up in a true 3-4 where the pure size of the NG is the issue, and it occurs to me that its not that often.

GTBob

April 27th, 2013
2:48 pm

Atlanta and the state of Georgia is a top 5 recruiting hub; Tech could literally do just like Miami did 30 yrs ago with the right coach and get the best players to come there

It’s not that easy and you know it. There is no way that GT is going to turn into Miami. The culture at the two schools is completely different. Do I really need to remind you what lengths Miami went to to become a good football program? They are one of the shadiest programs in college football history. Even if they weren’t shady, they would still recruit better than GT no matter who the coach is.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 27th, 2013
2:59 pm

they would still recruit better than GT no matter who the coach is.

Its good to know you and the rest of the Tech fans have that attitude

Kids will want to go to successful programs that also have great fan support and good coaching Bama is just a prime example

The state of Alabama doesn’t have the recruiting base that the state of Georgia has. So tell me Bob why would someone want to go to Tuscaloosa a town in the middle of po-dunk nowhere America to play football instead of the Atlanta area

GTBob

April 27th, 2013
3:23 pm

The state of Alabama doesn’t have the recruiting base that the state of Georgia has.

Alabama is right next to Georgia and they spend far more on recruiting than most other schools. Kids want to go there for several reasons, the most important of which is the fact that they win the National Championship every year. You think fan support is a major driving factor but you used Miami as an example earlier of what GT should try to achieve. Miami has terrible fan support. Meanwhile a school like Nebraska that has sold out every football game in the last 50 years rarely has a top recruiting class. There a many factors on recruits minds these days and unfortunately GT has way to many negatives to remain competitive.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 27th, 2013
3:36 pm

“Alabama is right next to Georgia and they spend far more on recruiting than most other schools”

So why cant Tech

Bama has a great coach and that’s why they are winning a National Championship

Tech one time had a great coach

Tech could easily get recruits due to location and selling the great education Tech offers;
Again Atlanta or Tuscaloosa Alabama where would you choose Bob

Theres a lot more to do for fun in Atlanta than Alabama

I can tell you start winning and fan support will grow and recruits will want to come

but having a coach that runs an 1920’s style offense that has been a distant memory in the NFL will continue to weaken Tech for many years to come when comes to getting half decent players

GTBob

April 27th, 2013
3:57 pm

Tech could easily get recruits due to location and selling the great education Tech offers

Then why hasn’t any coach since Bobby Dodd been able to recruit well at GT? They didn’t all run option offenses. GT has rescinded scholarship offers for three different players in the last three years because they couldn’t get their test scores up. GT usually has less than 10% special admits on their football team at any time. On top of this they have to convince the kids that are left that they should come to an engineering school with a 2 to 1 guy to girl ratio, with math and science requirements that is right in the center of SEC country yet isn’t in the SEC. On top of that, about half of the student and alumni population doesn’t care about football at all. I would love to hear your pitch Flat Tire for why a kid should come to GT over UGA, Florida, and Alabama. Give me your sales pitch.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 27th, 2013
4:13 pm

Bob

Again your school doesn’t care about Athletics

change your requirement’s give more special admits or drop to Div II or drop Athletics

Also 90% of your student athletes are in the business program

GTBob

April 27th, 2013
4:22 pm

“Also 90% of your student athletes are in the business program”

Maybe 90% of our football players are, not athletes in general. Of the 34 athletes who graduated last semester 15 were MGMT/BA, 12 were engineering, and 4 were from other fields. And im sure all GT fans would love to allow in more special admits. It has been a major point among Tech fans for years. Unfortunately after flunk gate and a few other academic incidents, as well as new APR requirements, it isn’t going to happen. And no, we aren’t going to drop to a lower football division. College Football funds our other sports. By doing that we would pretty much end athletics at GT for no reason.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

April 27th, 2013
4:54 pm

MY point exactly Bob

So tell all the Tech fans on this blog that being a proud athletic program again ended 50 yrs ago and they should learn to accept mediocrity with an occasional victory over UGA every few years or so

I still believe Tech should re-hire O’Leary

GTBob

April 27th, 2013
5:13 pm

Flat Tire, I actually have argued that with some Tech fans. One problem our fan base has is unrealistic expectations. Some expect 9-10 win seasons, top 20 recruiting classes, and wins over UGA half the time. There is no evidence that is even possible but they expect it anyways. It is why we hire and fire coaches every 4-6 years. RIght now we have a coach who has a higher winning percentage than any other GT coach since Bobby Dodd, and a lot of GT fans want him gone. It makes no sense.

As for O’Leary, after flunk gate, the ND debacle, and the kid that died at Central Florida, I doubt we would let him come back if he paid us. Plus, recently Ted Roof said that the academic environment has significantly changed at GT since the O’Leary days and it is much more difficult admissions wise. O’Leary wouldn’t be nearly the same coach that he was back then.

Dawg89

April 27th, 2013
8:30 pm

Looks like Kwame Geathers should have stayed in Athens for his senior season. I wonder if he is rethinking that move.

Jumper

April 27th, 2013
9:07 pm

Kwame just signed with the Chargers. Congrats to him.

Abry Jones signed with Jax Jaguars.

So 10 dawgs total so far.

Jumper

April 27th, 2013
9:15 pm

I think Marlon Brown will also get drafted, and also would be surprised if Branden Smith doesn’t get a contract with his speed.

Should finish around 11 or 12 guys drafted for UGA.

I don’t see CRob if Gillard getting drafted, nothing NFL special about those 2 from a talent standpoint.

CRob is good at coming up with slogans like “Our team, our time”, so he could end up doing more of that and watching football on Sundays.

But hey, 11 or 12 guys drafted, from UGA, by the end of week here, not too shabby.

DAWGMAN

April 27th, 2013
9:52 pm

When do the NFL teams get to draft NCAA head football coaches into their league? Isn’t that a little known codicil to the BCS playoff deal?

RED DOG 77

April 27th, 2013
10:59 pm

For the past few years I have been preaching “cycles” in college football………..and yes, our sending so many players to the NFL via the draft is huge………ever since that awful night few years ago that we lost to Colorado………..we have been “cycling up”……….yes indeed we have…………What was that year? 2010 I think, boy did we stink…………[like all colleg teams do from time to time]………We have been on a steady up-swing ever since to the point where I will be surprised if we don’t take Alabamas lofty position by bi#ch slapping it away from them either this year or next…………..told ya it was coming………….It’s great to be a Georgia BULLDOG……………NOW AIN’T IT……………..RED

Huh?

April 28th, 2013
10:24 am

Jumper…8 dawgs drafted. You can’t add the UFAs in that group. That’s a stretch.

Kevaog

April 28th, 2013
11:13 am

Re: Geathers is undrafted

We have a junior that leaves early and goes undrafted. It’s unbelievable to me that someone would evaluate his status and make the recommendation for him to leave early. Maybe he was just dead set on declaring for the draft

Message to college players in similar situations: you better make damn sure you know what you are doing.

Rather than playing another year and developing his skills, he will be in the unemployment line.

Sad.

BTown

April 28th, 2013
11:44 am

UGA had 14 guys get NFL contracts. 8 through the draft, then Geathers, Jones, Gillard, Robinson, Brown and Smith got drafted on a $400,000 free agent rookie contract. 14 guys drafted into the NFL in one season and picked up 2 ESPN top 150 high school recruits this week, unbelieveable week for UGA fans.

Bulldawg35

April 28th, 2013
11:51 am

Yeah on second thought I just don’t get excited about this class getting drafted…they are just another class who graduated without a championship…….I told y’all people that Kwame Geathers would not get drafted a long time ago…..ufa’s are at the totem pole….he will be lucky if he don’t get cut. Feathers didn’t want to stay his senior year because he didn’t want to lose the job to Thornton and Chris Mayes….I guess a third string nose guard doesn’t have much of a chance in the NFL

GTBob

April 28th, 2013
4:49 pm

14 guys drafted into the NFL in one season and picked up 2 ESPN top 150 high school recruits this week, unbelieveable week for UGA fans.

Its pretty funny that this is what a UGA fan considers an unbelievable week.

NCDawg

April 28th, 2013
6:53 pm

GTBob – is an unbelievable week for you not missing your pocket protector and ruining yet another shirt for one whole week? Or is it not getting caught for a whole week picking your nose by an attractive woman?
Jeez… if you love football and your team has 8 players drafted and 6 more signed to undrafted free agent contracts and also gets commitments from 2 of the best players coming out of high school all in few days, don’t you think that might spur some pretty good feelings?
Yes, I know,in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t compare to a child being born or getting word that you are cancer free but life is too short and capricious to not take joy in anything positive that happens in the acope of your life. Jealousy and resentment are life drainers and really serve no useful purpose. NONE.

dawgfan

April 29th, 2013
5:30 am

An unbelievable week for a Tech fan is any week when everyone is too busy to notice or care what an absolute embarassment their football program has become.

Thamks

NCDawg

April 29th, 2013
8:47 am

A question for Tech fans… How come Stanford can field a decent football team and you can’t? I seriously doubt that your academic standards are more stringent so why has your once proud program fallen so far? The next time any Garbage Can Scavenger comes on here ripping CMR for what he hasn’t done just look at your program and multiply it a few times. What is the old saying?… “you’ve got no room to talk” So you can put a sock in it and keep it in there.
Ga Tech was once a premier program and through gross negligence and criminal stupidity your school has made your brand an also ran. Put up or shut up. It’s that simple. Every time one of you comes on these blogs and tosses up your usual accusations and derision you only come across as pitiful, whiny children. Go back to your own miserable blogs and stay there.

GTBob

April 29th, 2013
5:06 pm

How come Stanford can field a decent football team and you can’t?

Stanford is on a nice temporary run after many years of awful football. They had to be decent eventually. You would be a fool to believe they can keep it up forever though just because of one short hot streak. Over the last 10, 20, or 30 years GT has been significantly better than them in every aspect. hey have a couple of good years and all of the sudden they are the beacon of what we should become.

Bobby Dudd

April 30th, 2013
8:48 am

Not since the mid 1950s has Tech fielded a football team that attended two major bowls in a row. The Orange Bowl in 09 was a fluke. The last time that Tech played in the Orange Bowl was in 1967 or 1968.

Even the Citrus Bowl in 1990 was only then a low mid level bowl. These facts clearly show that Tech’s best football was almost 60 years ago, dating back to the mid 1950s.

bulldawg35

April 30th, 2013
9:45 am

we will win next season….if the o-line steps up.

mgdawg

April 30th, 2013
1:20 pm

Here’s the issue GTBob. Sure, stanford hasn’t been that good until recently. However, if they are doing something now that has them improving, why not take a look at what they are doing in comparison to tech? Stanford is doing it in a much better conference, tech could’ve won the ACC with a .500 record.

The issue tech has now is are you ok with being a .500 team, maybe upset a team because of the unusual offense, and because the conference is so weak in football you might be able to pull of an ACC championship every now and then. Or do you want to take the chance going back to a more modern offense and you could be a lot better or be worse.

AltamahaDawg

April 30th, 2013
2:14 pm

“One problem our fan base has is unrealistic expectations.”

“Tech fans actually have realistic views of their team and program, while UGA fans are completely delusional about their team and everyone elses.”

Whatever you need to make up to pretend to be right, eh BOB?

Dog4Life

May 1st, 2013
7:35 am

Maybe we are somewhat delusional, but if one keeps shooting for the moon and realistically keeps putting legitimate pieces together to get there, they will eventually arrive–if one keeps digging for the cellar, they too will arrive. I will take the Moon pathway–it is much more rewarding and when one does get there, the setbacks are long forgotten.

1969 Graduate

May 1st, 2013
11:58 am

Nice one, Dog4Life. Very nice.

I’m not sure we Dawg fans are delusional (although maybe we are sometimes), but your point was very well made.

Go, Georgia Bulldogs!

Chefdawg

May 1st, 2013
8:20 pm

My question is if UGA gets all those players drafted why aren’t they winning a National Championship?

DAWGMAN

May 1st, 2013
11:55 pm

Sometimes it seems like Georgia is a relay station for the Wild West stage coaches. The best thing for the team of horses arriving after a long pull is rest and being taught how best to pull together. At our relay station, we have a lot of individual studs, but these studs aren’t being trained up well enough to pull as one. The stage coach line only cares about the load being drawn on to the next station on schedule. The best horses are being culled out of the team early. It’s just business, nothing personal.
Can’t we have a team of horses that in spite of the business realities, pulls as one?
Yeah, what Chefdawg said.

Kenny

May 2nd, 2013
3:23 pm

Amazed that we have 14 players either drafter or signed by NFL. That has to say alot to recruits but it still raises question — “are we getting the most out of our talent?”

When is breakthrough year going to happen?

Kenny

May 2nd, 2013
3:30 pm

GT trying to recruit football is about like USC trying to recruit basketball – uphill climbs for both!