Reflecting on UGA’s draft . . .

  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?

 

 

68 comments Add your comment

St. Bernard

April 27th, 2009
11:22 am

If we had these guys rated so high on defense, there’s only one excuse for last season…..coaching.

Pago Flyer

April 27th, 2009
11:24 am

We agree, still can’t beat fl and gt!

GeoffDawg

April 27th, 2009
11:25 am

I’m a little surprised that Ellerbee didn’t get picked up in one of the later rounds. Southerland is also somebody that’ll get a good rookie free agent shot with somebody but given his position, going undrafted isn’t much of a shock although I think he has the potential to be a solid long term pro.

One other thought just occurred to me – I wonder if Minnesota took Allen in part because they’ll have to play against Detroit and Stafford twice every year.

Also, while the “experts” didn’t have Moreno going that high, I think Denver couldn’t have been a better fit for him. Given their exceptional recent history of developing top notch NFL backs, I’d put a lot of stock into their talent evaluation.

Laugh Trax

April 27th, 2009
11:28 am

What is really funny is that many of the same UGA fans doing high-fives over Stafford’s draft were many of the same fans who were ripping him after he chose to leave UGA. Remember all the “Unfinished Business,” and “Unrealized Potential,” and “Where’s my ring” BS that UGA spouted for weeks after that.

Zeier was right when he said UGA fans are passionate, but not too bright.

AltamahaDawg

April 27th, 2009
11:31 am

The big winners are the tech fans. UGA draftees will give them something to yammer about for weeks.

GeoffDawg

April 27th, 2009
11:34 am

Laugh Trax – I’ve heard this same crap from you about Zeier before and I’ll ask you again to post your source. That’s libelous and you’re a piece of garbage.

mightyKC

April 27th, 2009
11:55 am

wait, so the Gators only lose 3 draftable players, and they won the NC last year? ruh-roh!

Real

April 27th, 2009
12:01 pm

The NFL teams really missed out on not drafting Brannon Southerland from UGA. Mel Kiper had Brannon as one of three of the best left of FB,s. Hope somebody picks him up, smart, great hands and great blocker.

staff fan now

April 27th, 2009
12:05 pm

Being #1 in the draft only serves to remind ….what could have been!

DawgGirl32

April 27th, 2009
12:05 pm

St. Bernard- You’ll notice that only one of the defensive players drafted played was on the d-line and that’s because he received significant playing time after filling in for injured Jeff Owens. I’ve said it a thousand times- games are won on the line. It should be no surprise to anyone the way the season went considering how depleted our o-line and d-line was this past year. Coaching may have been part of it but IMO personnel played a bigger role.

I feel pretty sorry for Stafford to be honest. That amount of money equals a lot of pressure for him to be successful and to do so pretty quickly. The Stafford-Johnson-Pettigrew combo should be interesting to watch the next few years, though. If they can actually build an o-line, they might have a potent offense eventually.

NewnanDawg

April 27th, 2009
12:17 pm

Southerland’s free agent shot is with the Jets, Ellerbe – Ravens, Kenneth Harris – Saints, Demiko Goodman – Steelers. Anyone heard if CJ Byrd got picked up?

77DAWG

April 27th, 2009
12:23 pm

If these guys got draffted so well, then, the finger is pointing directly to W Martinez and his gang for 10-3 season.

Justin

April 27th, 2009
12:41 pm

Cj byrd has a better chance finding a real job in this economy than to hook up on a nfl team i mean it was like he sprayed pam grease on his arms before every defensive possession last season he’s garbage.

$41.7 million

April 27th, 2009
12:43 pm

“I feel pretty sorry for Stafford to be honest.”

Don’t worry. I’ll look after him.

WTF???

April 27th, 2009
12:52 pm

Ellerbe really stunk it up this year. We’ve got a few more guys that will be coming out in the next few years that will likely be first round draftees (Owens, Curran & Green). I am assuming that in the next couple of years we should be able to add Aaron Murray & Richard Samuel to that list. Pro scouts have to be drooling over Samuel’s size & speed, regardless of his lack of on-field accomplishments. Keep in mind, this kid was only 17 when he got to Athens….

Cuz

April 27th, 2009
12:56 pm

When are they going to start cutting running backs in Denver. When they sign Knowshon they will have four signed running backs and who will be the starting qb. I read the Denver Post online over the weekend and their Bronco’s beat writer sounded like he was going to have a stroke. He slammed the team’s management for drafting Moreno when they had all those rb’s under contract. Knowshon might not be met with a parade when he shows up in the mile high city.

uga well wishers....

April 27th, 2009
1:00 pm

LOOK AT THE GUYS THAT WENT PRO… AND LOOK GA DID NOT WIN AN SEC OR NC IN 4 YEARS WITH THESE GUYS, WE GET THE PLAYERS, BUT CAN NOT COACH EM UP…… OUR OVERALL COACHES TO BE ABLE TO UP COACH THESE GUYS IS DIZMAL… LOOK AT ALL THE PLAYERS DRAFTED FROM GA AND NONE OF THEM WON AN SEC RING… OUR COACH EVEN REDSHIRTED MORENO, HE ONLY PLAYED TWO YEARS IN COLLEGE…. AND LOOK WHAT HE DID….. UGA NEED TO WORK ON LEARNING HOW TO COACH GUYS TO THE NEXT PLAYING LEVEL IN COLLEGE… UGA WILL NEVER WIN A NC BCS UNDER MARK RICHT… IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. THIS YEARS DRAFT PROVED IT…. SO SIT BACK DAWG FANS AND JUST GET USE TO IT…………

Chris

April 27th, 2009
1:02 pm

I’m really surprised that Ellerbe was not selected especailly since he was projected to be picked somewhere in the mid rounds. I was hoping Atlanta would take a look at him in rounds 3-5 since there is a glaring need at LB but I guess teams were scared away for some odd reason. I also thought Southerland would have been an ideal full back pick but he was also passed over but it’s a little different since he is a full back. I think he’s going to sign with someone right away and have a very good NFL career.

Joey

April 27th, 2009
1:04 pm

It’s pretty interesting that UGA had such a talented pool of players get drafted. 6 guys picked, 5 of them in the first 100 picks. Even the most successful teams didn’t have that many players drafted, Florida only had 3 picked, Alabama had 4, Oklahoma had 5, Texas had 5, Penn State had 5, you get the idea. What happened? All this talent, and still a team that underperformed. Kinda reminds me of the Yankees a bit, great individual talents, but no team success.

Supes

April 27th, 2009
1:09 pm

Ellerbe’s stock dropped after the injury plagued season he had. He would have been drafted (still late rounds pick most likely) if he would have came out last year.

Brannon Southerland, the injury kept him from being drafted, much like Ellerbe. When he gets a chance as a free agent somewhere, he’ll make it stick. Hard worker, with good hands who can catch the ball (rare skill for a FB).

CJ Byrd will get a chance too, just b/c there seemed to be a shortage of good quality DB in this draft top to bottom.

I-DOG

April 27th, 2009
1:13 pm

Cuz, I think the Broncos folks feel snakebit at running back, with losing 7 RB’s last year to injury and having to start a guy who was working at the mall earlier in the year, against the Panthers. They will cut and trade some backs, I’m sure. When you have to go to Radio Shack to get your starting RB in the NFL… you have some problems.

The media in Denver don’t understand the Moreno pick because Denver’s defense was so bad, they wanted some run stoppers. Moreno will have to continue to outscore the competition because Denver’s D was close to dead last in the NFL last year and the Broncos did not address their front 7 very well in free agency and the draft.

They also don’t understand it because Moreno was not hyped in the weeks leading up to the draft. There were no stories about how teams were wanting to trade up to get him or anything like that, so the people doing the howling have never seen him play. He doesn’t run a blazing 40 and he isn’t all that big, so if you didn’t see him play… it doesn’t sound like the right pick for that team.

As we Dawg fans know, they are getting a heckuva a football player in Denver and getting him at #12 seems like a bargain to me. Wait until they see him play and they won’t be complaining.

rphdawg

April 27th, 2009
1:21 pm

All it will take to shut Denver fans up is watching Moreno hurdle over another defensive guy…except this one will be just a BIT bigger. Congrats Dawgs.

Cuz

April 27th, 2009
1:33 pm

Yeah I am waiting for the reaction of the Bronco fans when they see Knowshon get hit at the line, do a spin move and pick up a touchdown flying through the air.

Huh?

April 27th, 2009
1:33 pm

Ellerbe was overrated to begin with. He just runs towards the pile in a straight line and falls over, and that’s assuming he could get off a block which was always a 50-50 proposition. I’m not one to bash UGA players but people need to get over this idea that we had all this grade A talent on defense last year. We didn’t.

Will

April 27th, 2009
1:36 pm

This draft along with several others during Richt’s tenure, just prove how terrible he is with talent. He is the most overrated coach in the country and this draft helped to expose him even more.

Ted Striker

April 27th, 2009
1:46 pm

You guys complaining about UGA’s performance last year don’t know what you’re talking about. And that’s all I’ve got to say about it.

Tom

April 27th, 2009
1:52 pm

Geoff,

You have a short memory (I was the one who posted the quote one day last week).

Call 790 the Zone at 404-237-0079. Ask them for the tape of their afternoon show from Wednesday, November 21, 2001. This was when EZ was co-hosting an afternoon show on The Zone and right after a UGA fan shut down Hartsfield by running down an “up” escalator to bypass security to retrieve his camera. That was the incident behind the quote……which was (verbatim)…..

“Georgia fans are passionate, but let’s face it…..they’re not the brightest fans. Passionate, but not bright.”

He said it…..get over it. If you can’t take it up with him. You can contact him at BoA or thru the Bulldog Radio Network (WSB).

KaliDogg

April 27th, 2009
2:07 pm

Saw an interesting comment (sorry, forget who said it, but it was somebody who’s name made me pay attention — maybe somebody else saw it and can remind me) about Moreno and his “slow” 40 time (4.6).

The quote (paraphrasing): “Jerry Rice never ran faster than a 4.6 and he did pretty well.”

There’s a lot more to being a running back than pure vertical speed — lateral movement, loose hips, field vision, hole speed, leverage, toughness, attitude, 5-yard burst.

You can be a pretty fair running back w/o outrunning Champ Bailey. Example: Emmitt Smith, NFL Combine time: 4.8.

I’m just saying. Let’s see what he does. Moreno first made an impression when he hit the field. That’s where he makes whatever statement he’s going to make. I’m pretty interested to see how he does.

dawggonecrazy

April 27th, 2009
2:20 pm

South Carolina had more drafted than Georgia. What does that say about their coach?

NFL Delusion

April 27th, 2009
2:23 pm

Here’s the list of the most likely NFL franchises that will disappear as this, the worst recession in a generation, takes its toll:

1. Detroit Lions
2. St. Louis Rams
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Cleveland Browns
5. Baltimore Ravens
6. Carolina Panthers
7. Houston Texans
8. Arizona Cardinals

These cities and their states are in such desparate financial circumstances, that it is highly unlikely that these franchises survive more than another 1-2 years at the most. Only Carolina and Houston can currently claim that they do not have their home field in a bankrupt city in a bankrupt state. California is bankrupt but San Diego and San Fran brands are very strong.

Stafford wont & cant save Detroit. However, for Detroit (a troubled franchise in a bankrupt city in a bankrupt state)to pay the highest ever for a #1 draft of an untested, junior year QB will be looked back on as THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF of the NFL franchise roster in its current form.

There’s gonna be a lot fewer NFL teams in the not too distant future.

UGA=TrailorTrash

April 27th, 2009
2:32 pm

I’d rather reflect on all the sports TECH has beat UGA in. Especially football since we have such “inferior” tallent! LOL!

It’s great to be a JACKET!

Dawg Nation

April 27th, 2009
2:32 pm

Where Knowshon lacks in outright speed he makes up for with blistering quickness and change of direction.

it aint a delusion

April 27th, 2009
2:34 pm

What those teams all have in common is they were all “expansion” teams, except Detroit and St. Louis. But St. Louis was the old LA Rams.

Stafford will make history as the poster boy for the new “NFL Gone Wild” video series. When the NFL players union starts talking with the owners this Summer, Stafford’s contract will be EXHIBIT #1 for a system out of whack and out of touch with the fans. Dont be suprised if 2009 season becomes a strike season of “Replacements.”

If you Falcons or other NFL fans thought the seats on Sunday looked a little “empty” last year. Get ready for half-empty stadiums in 2009.

Ferndolin

April 27th, 2009
2:37 pm

How many were drafted from SC?

Ferndolin

April 27th, 2009
2:40 pm

How many out of the SEC, ACC, Big 10, PAC 10? Anyone got those numbers?

Reebok

April 27th, 2009
2:47 pm

Tech fan here…congrats to all the Georgia players who secured their futures in this weekend’s draft. I hope you all have great pro careers. And I am really gald my Jackets defense will not have to face Stafford & Moreno again. Side note, IMHO as always…Georgia’s talent far exceeds its coaching. See you on the Flats in November…

Ferndolin

April 27th, 2009
2:54 pm

CONFERENCE—–SEC—-ACC—-PAC-10—-BT—B12—-BE

Total picks———-37——-33——-32——-28—-28——27

There you go.

Judge Dawg

April 27th, 2009
2:55 pm

With the injuries last year we had some great coaching, particualrly in the offensive line. This was not the team we were supposed to have and last year proves nothing. Some of you guys have never gotten over ray Goff.

GSU guy

April 27th, 2009
3:05 pm

You can add Georgia State to that list of vanishing programs.
How in THE HE** can the State of Georgia afford to develop a football program at Ga State when the state itself is facing a statewide financial crisis of its own?

Jerry Glanville

April 27th, 2009
3:07 pm

“This is the NFL. And, that means NOT FOR LONG.”

Cuz

April 27th, 2009
3:11 pm

GSU, Groucho as head coach had the answer. Tear down the library and build the new stadium.

Cuz

April 27th, 2009
3:14 pm

Good thing we played Michigan State before they abolished their football program.

First the Edsel and next the Detroit Lions, is nothing sacred?

NewnanDawg

April 27th, 2009
3:26 pm

GSU guy –

Let me once again explain,like I had to for some fool called UGA’er the other day, athletic departments rarely, if ever, get funding from governments like the educational side does. They are funded primarily bby private donations and corporate sponsors. At GA State’s website, you will find that Coca-Cola, Publix, and a few others provide sponsorships, and you will also find their ongoing fundraising activities for alumni and fans. In the case of UGA, they raise so much money, that some of the surplus after paying for the entire athletic budget, is donated to the educational fund. I believe they donated $2 million this year. So, most often, athletic departments are money makers for institutions, not a drain on government.

If you really want to complain, there are plenty of idiotic expenditures made by governments of all levels out there for you to complain about.

Now, if you don’t want to discuss the draft, this is not the blog for you. Congrats to all the Dawgs and Good Luck!

Voice of Reason

April 27th, 2009
3:49 pm

the recession won’t last long enough for any teams to go anywhere. All you doom and gloomers just need to calm down. The econom is already starting to turn around, no thanks to Obama who has only increased the damage caused by the recession

uga_b

April 27th, 2009
3:55 pm

Jerry Rice ran a 4.71, but didn’t lose any speed out of his break translating into real game speed. There are a lot of sprinters who fail in the NFL. Knowshon will be plenty fast enough based on his acceleration (the true mark of an RB). Acceleration gets you to the secondary where all the good things happen.

we had a great gameplan but failed to execute.

April 27th, 2009
4:12 pm

According to CMR….that’s why we lose all the games that we do.
All we need to do is sign players that can execute the gameplan to perfection!

Obviously, having NFL talent does not equal being able to flawlessly execute the Martinez/Richt/Bobo gameplan.

Cuz

April 27th, 2009
4:12 pm

Great news on Ellerbe and Southerland. Ellerbe to the Ravens, Southerland to the Jets.

PTC DAWG

April 27th, 2009
4:22 pm

Not sure why a Jacket fan is on here gloating…but hey, it shows they care.

shane#1

April 27th, 2009
4:26 pm

I think Stafford will find very tough going in Detroit, and I am not a Stafford basher. I think the reincarnated Joe Montana would have a tough go of it in Detroit. If the Lions are smart they will resist the temptation to start the kid early and let him get used to the speed of the game and learn the playbook before they throw him to the wolves. Then again, when have the Lions been accused of being smart? Moreno will do well in Denver, they seem to handle UGA running backs better than anyone else. I think injury problems handicapped Southerland and Ellerbe, both missed a lot of games and Southerland had a stress fracture in his foot that still may not be 100% healed. Stress fractures in a fullbacks foot would be a red flag for any team. Now someone can pick him up cheap and can afford to keep him on the team untill they are sure the foot is well. The biggest suprise of the draft to me was how far the USC linebackers slipped. How in the hejj did Rey Rey wind up in the third round? For the Falcons to pass on him in the second round is beyond my understanding. I thought they got rid of Brooking to find a real Mike linebacker, then they pass on a couple of studs. I will never understand the draft.

Too Easy

April 27th, 2009
4:53 pm

Cuz: Pontiac is gone now.