Very interesting NFL draft for the Bulldogs.
All three UGA players who turned pro early obviously knew what they were doing, at least in terms of their draft stock.
Matthew Stafford was correct that there was nothing he could do in a senior season to improve his draft position. Can’t improve on the No. 1 pick, of course. And his record contract — $41.7 million guaranteed – beat the NFL push toward new rules to shift money from rookies to veterans.
Knowshon Moreno, you might recall, entered the draft without even asking the NFL advisory council for an assessment of his draft potential. He went higher (No. 12 to Denver) than almost any “expert” had forecast. The consensus had been that he’d go in the 16-21 range.
Asher Allen surprised a lot of folks when he, like Stafford and Moreno, opted to leave school early for the draft. But he became a solid third-round pick, only slightly lower than his most optimistic hope.
“We were kind of hoping Asher would sneak into the late second round,” Allen’s agent, Pat Dye Jr., said Sunday. “We thought his window was late second to third, so he went in his window. And he’s going to a really good young football team [Minnesota].”
Stafford, of course, isn’t going to a good football team, and the question now is how the 0-16 Lions handle his development. How long before he plays? The Lions brass said what you’d expect over the weekend – that it’s their job to develop him and that he’ll play as soon as he’s ready, whenever that is.
Aside from the underclassmen, three other Georgia players were drafted.
Mohamed Massaquoi went to Cleveland in the middle of the second round, about as expected.
Corvey Irvin went to Carolina late in the third round, probably higher than most people expected; that completed a whirlwind year in which Irvin became a UGA starter because of Jeff Owens’ knee injury, played extremely well and turned himself into a fast-rising NFL prospect.
Dye, who also represents Irvin, said Irvin continued to improve his draft stock in recent months by doing well at the NFL Combine, at Georgia’s Pro Day and in interviews with teams.
“People started considering he really only played one season of [major] college football,” Dye said. Irvin transferred to Georgia after playing two years at Georgia Military College, and he was a UGA backup in 2007 before Owens’ injury thrust him into the starting lineup as a senior last fall.
The final Georgia draft pick was defensive end Jarius Wynn in the sixth round to Green Bay. Kind of interesting that, given all the (justified) criticism of Georgia’s D-ends last season, one of them got drafted.
Your thoughts on Georgia’s draft and what you expect from the players in the pros?