Clint Boling is on the clock.
No, he’s not the one doing the picking in the NFL draft. But he’s one of the ones waiting and he’s expecting a call tonight.
Or at least he’s hoping for one.
The Georgia Bulldogs’ senior and jack-of-all-trades offensive lineman is projected as a second- or third-round pick in the NFL draft. But as Boling and everybody else knows about the draft, well, you just never know.
“I just kind listen to what my agent’s been telling me,” said Boling, who is represented by Atlanta’s Pat Dye Jr. “I’ve been trying not to read too many blogs and mock drafts and stuff like that.”
Boling said the feedback he has been getting indicates he should be selected by the end of today, which is when the second and third rounds are due to be completed (ESPN’s coverage begins at 6 p.m.).
“[Dye] said it’d probably the second day, but that you’ve got to be ready for anything,” said Boling, who measured in at 6-foot-4, 305-pounds at the combine. “He said he’s seen some crazy things happen during the draft, so you really just have to try to relax and wait to see what happens. I feel like I had a good senior year and good workouts and meetings at the combine. There’s nothing else I can do now.”
Other than throw a party.
Friends and family will be over at the Boling’s house in Alpharetta tonight and they’ll “hang out and maybe grill some food” while watching the draft.
Boling said they had more of an informal “get-together” for last night’s first-round festivities, when he was hoping he might get a surprise call. But he’ll be disappointed if his cell phone doesn’t ring tonight.
“I’m more anxious than anything,” said the Chattahoochee High graduate. “I’m excited about the future, too. I just want to know who I’m going to be playing for and where I’m going to live. It all feels pretty surreal right now.”
Boling leaves Georgia career with a reputation for being one of the program’s most versatile linemen in history. He played every position on the line of scrimmage except center. He started 12 games right guard as a true freshman in 2007, then was moved back and forth between left and right guard and tackle the remainder of his career, sometimes in the same game, occasionally in the same series.
This is why many believe Boling should come off the board early.
“His versatility is one of his greatest assets,” Georgia coach Mark Richt told me this week. “The way NFL rosters are, you only carry about six or seven linemen, so you must have guys that can cross train. It’s one thing to see guys that play tackle one year and guard another year, but it’s another thing to see one play guard and tackle and go from one side to another even in the same game. So they know he can handle it mentally and that’s really helped him a bunch.”
Boling is one of at least four or five Bulldogs hoping to have their name called during the NFL draft. Defensive end Justin Houston, linebacker Akeem Dent, wide receiver Kris Durham, fullback Shaun Chapas and defensive end Demarcus Dobbs will also be paying close attention.
Of course, A.J. Green is already off the board. The junior wide receiver from Summerville, S.C., went with the No. 4 overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals. So Georgia has now had three players chosen among the top 12 picks in the last three drafts, including 2009’s top overall pick Matthew Stafford.
Boling said he hadn’t had a chance to talk to Green yet but hoped to soon. Perhaps he’ll get a congratulatory call from Green after getting picked tonight.
Then they can really throw a party.