Seven Georgia football players have received invitations participate in the 2012 NFL Combine. That number is expected to rise to eight if tight end Orson Charles sticks with his plan to enter the draft early. Underclassmen have until Wednesday to pull out (and Charles is not expected to).
From everything I can tell, that’s a pretty high number. Alabama had five last year and I would suspect it will have a lot more than that this year, though I couldn’t find an official list. I’m sure LSU will send a bunch to the NFL’s testing grounds as well.
Georgia, meanwhile, did release an official list on Monday and it included pretty much all the names one might expect. Listed alphabetically, they were: offensive lineman Justin Anderson, defensive back/kick returner Brandon Boykin, punter Drew Butler, offensive lineman Cordy Glenn, center Ben Jones, defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson and place-kicker Blair Walsh. Really the only seniors of note left off the invite list would be fullback/tight end Bruce Figgins and tight end Aron White. Otherwise every front-line senior was represented.
Most projections I’ve seen have Glenn, the 6-foot-5, 348-pound tackle from Riverdale, being the first Bulldog off the board. I’ve seen him listed anywhere between 23 and 31, which is first round, of course. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Glenn rated No. 12 on his Big Board.The most comprehensive prospect ranking iI found was this one from CBSSports.com. According to those ratings, Charles is the next highest ranked at 54, followed by Jones (64) and Boykin (72). So those guys all have second-round potential, according to the experts.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boykin creeps up there a little higher and might even be the second Bulldog gone. The senior from Fayetteville, who was recently named the winner of the Paul Hornung Award, could be extremely valuable as both a corner and a kick returner. And everything I know about that guy makes me believe he’ll train and prepare in such a way that he could really wow some folks in Indianapolis.
Of course, Georgia has always sent a ton of players on to the NFL. According to UGA, 77 players have been drafted in the last 15 years, including No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford in 2009 and first rounders Knowshon Moreno (2009) and A.J. Green (2011). Overall, the Bulldogs have been among the top 10 college teams annually for placing players on NFL rosters over the last 10 years.
Meanwhile, we’ll be able to see a bunch of these guys in action one more time in the next couple of weeks. Walsh, Tyson and Figgins will participate in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla. (4 p.m., NFL Network). Boykin, Butler, Jones and Glenn of Riverdale will play in the prestigious Senior Bowl game in Mobile, Ala., Saturday, Jan. 28.
The 2012 NFL Combine will be held Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis.